Emma Raducanu’s never-say-die attitude will take her to the top of the women’s game, according to Mats Wilander.
The British No. 1 rallied from a set down to beat junior French Open champion Linda Noskova 6-7(4) 7-5 6-1 in the first round at Roland-Garros on Monday.
It was Raducanu’s first-ever French Open match, and with the 19-year-old close to completing a first 12 months on tour, Wilander pointed towards the player’s attitude as a reason why the US Open champion – seeded No. 12 in Paris – is capable of rising further up the rankings.
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“People are sort of doubting her a little bit, she hasn’t been around that long, but I have to say every time I see her play, I am convinced she is going to get to the top of the women’s game at some point because her attitude is absolutely fantastic,” said seven-time Grand Slam champion and Eurosport expert Wilander, after Raducanu took her 2022 record to eight wins and nine defeats.
“She does everything well on court, she moves well and is solid off both sides. The most important part: she has a great attitude through all these tough times, when everybody is doubting her and she’s not winning many matches. She’s so positive and I love watching her play because of her attitude.”
Raducanu’s French Open build-up was dominated by talk of a back problem, as well as her coaching changes, but she said after her first-round win that she was feeling “really good” about her fitness after coming through “tough moments” against Noskova.
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She faces Aliaksandra Sasnovich next in the second round, and former British No. 1 Tim Henman praised Raducanu’s resilience when stating her physical fitness will eventually match her tennis ability.
Highlights: Raducanu roars back to reach French Open second round
Henman said: “It was a great effort. Coming into the event off the back of pulling out in Rome, it seems [her back is fine] after question-marks over whether she’d play.
“She needed to be tough out there because her opponent was playing incredibly well, and was up a set and a break, but her attitude, her fighting spirit got her through that second set to give her momentum.
“That’s a positive sign. Her physicality has to catch up with her tennis ability, which is in no doubt. She needs to build that foundation to give her a bit more resilience.
"Though when you reflect on her journey, it has been such a whirlwind she hasn’t really had the opportunity, so hopefully she can build that and the results follow.”
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