'It’s not hype, it’s real' – Navratilova's verdict on US Open star Emma Raducanu
The hype around British sensation Emma Raducanu is ‘real’ according to 18-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Navratilova.
The 18-year-old is gearing up for her last-16 US Open match with American Shelby Rogers as she continues her rise up the world rankings.
Raducanu, who made headlines at Wimbledon this year when she reached the same stage ranked then as the world No. 338, has made light work of her opponents so far.
Her last match saw her drop one game as she recorded a stunning 6-0, 6-1 win over Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo.
While there’s plenty of excitement among British tennis fans about Raducanu’s rise, a legend of the game in Navratilova believes there’s valid reason for it.
‘The path has opened now, of course for everybody, but Emma Raducanu, what a story,’ Navratilova told Amazon Prime.
‘We talked a lot about her at Wimbledon. She went back to the drawing board here this summer and she’s worked her way through qualifying and she’s hardly lost any games.
‘She was up 6-0 5-0 yesterday before she finally lost a game so she is looking really, really good. Her head is all working and her strokes are immaculate. I’m looking forward to seeing that match and then maybe more.
‘You see special when you see it for the first time, you know that you’ve got something special, and she’s one of those people. It’s not hype, it’s real.’
Rogers could be Raducanu’s toughest test yet though with the 28-year-old in fine form after dumping out world No.1 Ashleigh Barty in the previous round.
‘I’m going to have to do a little bit of scouting I think,’ Rogers said of Raducanu.
‘But she’s fearless. She is playing very well and she’s inspired. It’s going to be a battle. I am ready for it.
‘It’s really cool to see the younger generation coming up in this tournament, getting some big wins. It’s really impressive.
‘Yeah, I’m going to have to bring my best tennis again in a different way I think, though. Every match. That’s the cool thing about tennis, you have to adjust every single time and make a new strategy.’
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