September 18, 2021, 15:28

Emma Raducanu: Marcos Baghdatis knew a star was born after British teenager’s Wimbledon run

Emma Raducanu: Marcos Baghdatis knew a star was born after British teenager’s Wimbledon run

Former tennis star Marcos Baghdatis has paid tribute to US Open champion Emma Raducanu

Former Grand Slam finalist Marcos Baghdatis immediately knew a star was born the first time he set eyes on British teenager Emma Raducanu playing at Wimbledon.

Raducanu has made US Open history by becoming the first-ever qualifier – male or female – to win a Grand Slam final.

The 18-year-old from Orpington, Kent, has not dropped a set in the main draw en route to her stunning victory and the fast-rising star will be installed as British No 1 next week, jumping to world No 23.

Tearing up the record books, Raducanu is also now the first British woman to win a Grand Slam since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.

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Raducanu’s victory at the US Open is another example of a ‘changing of the guard’ in tennis and the British star will only get better, says Barry Cowan Raducanu’s victory at the US Open is another example of a ‘changing of the guard’ in tennis and the British star will only get better, says Barry Cowan

Her win – against fellow teen Leylah Fernandez – saw her become the first British female winner at Flushing Meadows since Wade in 1968.

Former tennis star Baghdatis, who will get to see Raducanu showcase her world-class ability in the Champions Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall in November, has marvelled at her trajectory, telling Sky Sports: “I heard about her, but when I saw her play at Wimbledon, it was like a star was born.

“It’s just an incredible story and tennis-wise, there is just nothing to say. She’s doing everything very well and at this age, she still has so much space for improvement in her game but the most amazing thing was her personality, her smile, and the way she enjoyed the whole tournament.

“She was even an inspiration to me watching her. It’s so nice to see somebody love the sport, smile, and play. Be free on the court.

“It’s been a long time since we didn’t see a person like that on the court.”

Raducanu reveals her incredible emotions to Sky News reporter Martha Kelner after becoming US Open champion in New York Raducanu reveals her incredible emotions to Sky News reporter Martha Kelner after becoming US Open champion in New York

Raducanu has already proven she has what it takes and will meet a number of tennis legends including Greg Rusedski, Radek Stepanek, Xavier Malisse, Thomas Enqvist, and Baghdatis himself.

When asked what advice he would give Raducanu in dealing with the media and public hype, the former world No 8 replied: “She does everything well, but always keep on learning. We all work hard but sometimes we forget to keep on learning every day. Be better than you were yesterday and I think that’s what I would say to her.

“Never stop risking changing a better technique on everything to get better and I think if you have that mentality, then I think you will always be better and better.”

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Former LTA coach at Bromley tennis centre, Matt James, speaks of the pride the local tennis community has for the teenager Former LTA coach at Bromley tennis centre, Matt James, speaks of the pride the local tennis community has for the teenager

He continued: “The most important year will be next year or the year after, because most of the players will start to know how she is playing and maybe she will get a bit tired mentally.

“That’s where it’s important to keep on changing, keep on learning and keep on moving forward and never saying ‘I’m going to work hard and I’m going to work the way I worked last year’ and that’s it. You need to evolve because everything is evolving in life, so we need to learn different things and be open-minded.”

Marcos Baghdatis will be playing in the Champions Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall, the finale of the ATP Champions Tour, between November 25-28. Tickets available at www.atpchampionstour.com/london

Source: skysports.com

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