for Emma Raducanu, the difficult confirmation

End of August 2021. Hurricane Ida hits the United States. At the same time, another phenomenon is sweeping the biggest tennis tournament in the country. An 18-year-old woman achieved at the US Open what no other had accomplished before: winning a Grand Slam title after having gone through the qualifying phase. In three weeks, Emma Raducanu goes on for ten matches without losing a single set and dominates in the final the other surprise guest from New York, the Canadian Leylah Fernandez. All this, less than three months after taking her first steps on the main women’s circuit, propelled into the interval of the 338and at the 23and global place.

Praise rained down on the young Briton, to the (dis) measure of her achievement: even Queen Elizabeth II, who sent her a letter welcoming her “hard work” and his ” dedication “. Her smile and her story – she was born in Canada to a Chinese mother and a Romanian father and arrived in Great Britain at the age of two – ended up attracting sponsors. Emma Raducanu is presented as the promise that the women’s circuit badly needs.

Alas, since its American parenthesis, the fairy tale is less scintillating on the short side. Raducanu comes to Roland-Garros with a leaner record of victories than during his crazy epic: 8 in 20 games out of 10 tournaments played since September. Exit in the second round of the Australian Open, she crossed one more in Indian Wells before falling as soon as she entered the competition in Miami.

Coaches Waltz

At the end of April, his quarter-final in Stuttgart gave hope for a season on clay that was less painful than on hard. But she stopped in the round of 16 in Madrid the following week, and had to give up in her first match in Rome – a traditional dress rehearsal for the Parisian Grand Slam – due to a back injury. At the end of February, she had already been forced to throw in the towel in the first round of a tournament in Mexico, reduced in the left hip. She recovered just in time to be on the trip to Paris: “I look forward to these big events with such impatience,” she said, all smiles, when she arrived at the Porte d’Auteuil on Friday, May 20.

For a player making her first full season in the big leagues, the lack of regularity is not surprising. “It’s too early to bury him, we have to give him time, believes Camille Pin, consultant for Amazon Prime Video, who recalls that she is not the first to win a Grand Slam title out of nowhere. In 1997, Croatian Iva Majoli won Roland at the age of 19, against all odds. Also remember Jelena Ostapenko [la Lettone s’est imposée porte d’Auteuil en 2017 à 20 ans]… »

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