Former world No. 1 Kim Clijsters thinks Emma Raducanu deserves some credit as she feels the 19-year-old is a better player now than she was a year ago when she won the US Open. 12 months ago, Raducanu wrote tennis history after becoming the first qualifier ever to win a Grand Slam.
As Raducanu is preparing to kick off her US Open title defence, the title she earned at Flushing Meadows last year remains her lone title. Leading up to this year's US Open, Raducanu beat 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and former world No.
1 Victoria Azarenka. “She’s already done a lot more in the lead-up to the US Open than she did last year, she beaten a lot of good players,” Clijsters told Reuters. “She is maturing as a tennis player.
I think her tennis is better now than it was when she won the US Open”.
Clijsters: Raducanu had a big life changing experience
Raducanu was just 18 and ranked outside the top-100 when she captured her first Grand Slam title.
Pulling off such a feat brought a target on Raducanu's back as it has been evident that rivals are extremely motivated to beat the 2021 US Open champion. “When you have such a life changing experience, and I’m not talking about what happens on the court but everything else that gets added to that, even if she if she doesn’t change, people around you change.
People look at you differently. People on the tour look at you differently whether she goes to a tournament in Luxembourg, or in Australia. Everybody knows her. Those big changes in life they take time to kind of get used to. It’s so unrealistic the expectations that are on her because when you play a sport, you go out there and you know, you have an opponent who’s trying to win just as hard as you," Clijsters added. Raducanu plays Alize Cornet in the US Open first round.