Record 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal reveals he has never really had a big interaction with Emma Raducanu but adds he was impressed by what the 19-year-old pulled off at last year's US Open. Raducanu, 19, made tennis history when she became the first qualifier ever to win a Grand Slam.
Unfortunately for Raducanu, she has been struggling with her game since her US Open and it has also been a struggle for her to remain healthy. Reflecting on Raducanu's struggles, Nadal suggested he thinks Raducanu will be alright and that she will become a great player as he feels she is a "very important character for our sport."
"I honestly never had a big interaction with her. But I was very impressed when I saw her winning the US Open. I saw the final. The way that she played was unbelievable. Then it's difficult to manage all this kind of success at a very early stage of your life, no? But I wish her all the very best.
I think she's a very important character for our sport. I know she's having a tough year, but on the other hand she already won a slam at a very early stage of her career. That gives her I think calm to take her time to keep improving and to keep having chances in the near future.
I really hope that she will," Nadal said of Raducanu, per Gaspar Ribeiro Lanca.
Raducanu loved being around Nadal
At Wimbledon, Raducanu had a chance to practice on the courts reserved for the top players. “I'm 19 (years old), like just to be watching Rafa and Novak at such close range and to be able to sort of take parts and try learn from them and you know, walk amongst these great players it's still special.
Like I don't think it really ever changes when you're watching those greats and it's amazing to have them around," Raducanu reflected. Meanwhile, Nadal has been through to th Wimbledon third round, while Raducanu suffered a second round defeat versus Caroline Garcia.