Former world No. 3 Sloane Stephens wishes nothing but the best to Emma Raducanu as she noted the year after winning a maiden Grand Slam is never easy Stephens, who captured her lone Grand Slam title at the 2017 US Open, is now ranked at No.
68 in the world. Raducanu has won just two and lost two matches since her astonishing US Open run. "When you carry the weight of a whole country, it's very different. I haven't had that pressure. But I do know that it's very tough.
So, blessings to her (laughter). I wish her well, I know it will be difficult, but she is a great little player. Everyone goes through those ups and downs though. At some point, you like kind of come back down. It's very emotional, I will say that.
(That next year after winning a Grand Slam) is brutal," Stephens told Kamau Harris on the Tennis magazine podcast.
Stephens set to play Raducanu
Stephens and Raducanu were drawn to meet in the Australian Open. Raducanu, who tested positive for COVID-19 last month, suffered a 6-0 6-1 loss to Elena Rybakina in her season opener.
"I didn't play tennis for 21 days and to come out and play Rybakina straight up. I mean, it's tough but it's good because I'm very proud and happy that I put myself out there. I could have easily said it's too soon and just play next week, but I wanted to really test where I'm at and obviously give myself some competitive points and matches," Raducanu said after the loss.
However, Raducanu wasn't concerned after suffering a brutal loss in Sydney. "I think that I will brush this off, because for me, like, just getting out there, playing points, yesterday was pretty much like my second time playing competitive points for like two months, even in practice," Raducanu said.
"I'm confident that I can brush it off and just keep going, keep working, and next week I'll have a bit of match experience under my belt."