Former Australian tennis player Casey Dellacqua insists Emma Raducanu has to be mentioned on the list of candidates for a deep Australian Open. Raducanu, 19, is set to make her Australian Open debut and play her first Grand Slam since winning the US Open on a stunning way.
"When someone's got it in them to be a Grand Slam champion, I don't think you can ever not talk about them in terms of winning another major. To have that champion mentality and drive, and to do what she's done, she's got it in her," Dellacqua told the Australian Open website.
"The women's draw is so open in my mind. There are so many players I've got my eye on, to see where they fit in the draw, see their form after the off-season, how the lead-in events go. The AO is always a tricky one to predict because players are coming in with a kind of clean slate.
"But I definitely think Emma Raducanu's name has to be there, in the picture somewhere, in terms of going deep in the AO."
'Raducanu has the bright and exciting future'
"She's got her whole career to look forward to. She'll find her feet on tour.
She already knows she belongs there. It's now just about getting your teeth stuck into that lifestyle of being a professional tennis player week-in, week-out on tour," Dellacqua added on the pressure to succeed. "She's going to get (direct) acceptances into all of those (WTA) tournaments.
So it's just now about managing that, her body and her mind, and just staying as consistent as possible. "Also understanding that you're not going to win all the time, you're not going to have a week like the US Open every week on tour (laughter).
It's unrealistic to think like that. "I think her future is bright. She seems so motivated and keen – why wouldn't you be when you've just won the US Open?"