Venus Williams: Emma Raducanu, Naomi Osaka are great for tennis

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Venus Williams: Emma Raducanu, Naomi Osaka are great for tennis

Former world No. 1 Venus Williams says Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka are achieving great things and she is rooting for them. Osaka, 24, is a four-time Grand Slam champion and former world No. 1. Raducanu, 18, became the first qualifier in tennis history to win a Grand Slam after beating Leylah Fernandez in this past US Open final.

Venus and Serena Williams had to overcome many obstacles before becoming one of the all-time greats. Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, the Williams sisters were asked whether they saw players like Osaka and Raducanu facing similar barriers to the ones they had to overcome.

"I don’t know that we know their lives,” Venus began in response. “So, it’s hard for us to speak to that. But obviously they’re achieving great things. We’re excited for them, and they’re great for tennis.

“It’s important for people to continue to break barriers. And the best part is if you’re good enough and great enough you open the way for other people. “And I think generations [coming after us] are able to just play tennis and hopefully don’t have to focus so much on the colour of their skin”.

Rusedski tipped to become a multiple Grand Slam champion

"I think she's going to be a multiple Grand Slam champion. I think she has the potential to be a world No 1. What she has done in her first two majors, there's very few that have done.

She got to the fourth round of Wimbledon in her first major and then she's gone on to win the US Open," Former British No. 1 Rusedski told Sky Sports. "There's only three other female players that have got to the fourth round or better in both events in their first two majors.

Chris Evert, who was world No 1 and multiple Slam winner, Jennifer Capriati, world No 1 and multiple Slam winner, and Monica Seles, so she joins that category of elite superstars."