‘No disappointment’ Slam icon praises Raducanu despite Aussie Open exit
‘Not a disappointment’ – Mats Wilander praises Emma Raducanu despite Australian Open exit
Mats Wilander says Emma Raducanu can be proud of her performance at the Australian Open and feels the young Briton “is on its way” to success.
After shocking the world when she became the first and only qualifier to win a Grand Slam title at the US Open last year, Raducanu struggled for form towards the end of 2021, leaving several tournaments early. .
The US Open champion’s poor form has seemingly continued into 2022 after a heavy loss to Elena Rybakina at the Sydney Tennis Classic.
She then faced a tough draw at the Australian Open when she drew 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens.
However, Raducanu defeated Stephens in convincing fashion, winning the first set 6-0 in just 17 minutes and winning the match 6-0, 2-6, 6-1.
She then battled injury but was narrowly beaten by world number 98 Danka Kovinic.
After the defeat, Raducanu revealed that she suffered from blisters before the start of the Australian Open, with some members of her team advising her not to participate in the first Slam of the season.
Raducanu played regardless and her injury only got worse the longer she played.
If Raducanu had beaten Kovinic, she would have faced her idol Simona Halep in the third round, but alas that was not the case and the duo have yet to meet in competition.
Despite leaving the ‘Happy Slam’ in the second round, seven-time Slam champion Mats Wilander hailed her performance and believes her defeat is no cause for disappointment.
Speaking on the Eurosport Cube, Wilander said: “Emma Raducanu [showed] amazing fight.
“She had a huge blister in her right hand and at times she couldn’t really punch at all.
“It’s not a disappointment for me. It doesn’t have to be for Raducanu or the British media, and for his sponsors.
“It was a great effort against a very good player from [Danka] Kovinic. I take my hat off. She couldn’t even shake hands!
Raducanu went to high five Kovinic with her left hand at the net after the loss, still protecting her blistered right.
Wilander reviewed Raducanu’s Slam results so far, keeping in mind that she’s only played three events so far.
“At Wimbledon she reached the fourth round, at the US Open she won, and at the Australian Open she won an excellent first round against a former Grand Slam champion in Sloane Stephens.
“Then she played a fantastic game tonight. She’s on her way. She won [a] Grand Slam, it’s over.
“Now we are starting to be a professional tennis player. This is where she is.”
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