British sensation Emma Raducanu can ‘break into top 20’ as she eyes US Open run

Emma Raducanu: Commentators praise 'extraordinary' win

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Emma Raducanu has been tipped to break into the world’s top 20 by 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli. The former world No 7 praised the 18-year-old for backing up her breakthrough run at the All England Club, where she stormed to the second week during her Grand Slam debut. Raducanu has since made her debut in the world’s top 150 with a run to her maiden tour-level final, and qualified for the US Open, winning her first main draw match.

Raducanu made a name for herself with an impressive Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon in summer, making it all the way to the second week as a wildcard.

The 18-year-old didn’t drop a set en route to the round of 16, beating 2019 Roland Garros runner-up Marketa Vondrousova in the process, and became the youngest British woman in Open Era history to reach the last 16.

She then retired from her match against Ajla Tomljanovic at a set and a break down, citing breathing difficulties.

While many players have been able to have a fairytale run at a big tournament, not everyone is able to replicate their success on the tour year-round but Raducanu has already proven her Wimbledon exploits weren’t just a one-off.

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The Bromley teenage sensation has now been tipped to make the world’s top 20 in the future, after backing up her performance at the All England Club.

Bartoli, a Wimbledon champion herself back in 2013, is expecting big things from Raducanu after watching her during the North American hard court season.

She believes the current world No 150 can be the next big thing in British tennis and fulfil potential where some of her predecessors were unable to.

“She’s been a really great story. She is very refreshing for the sport and it’s great for the UK especially to have some young and talented players coming through because it hasn’t been the case for quite a while,” the former world No 7 told Pickswise.

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She continued: “Before, the hopes of the UK were on Heather Watson and Laura Robson and they haven’t been able to fulfil their full potential. Especially for Heather, for Laura it’s been mainly injuries that put her on the side-line. Heather has been a regular on the tour but hasn’t been able to get into the top 20.

“Emma has the potential to break into the top 20 and even further.”

The retired champion made huge claims but said it was Raducanu’s ability on the smaller stage that made her so excited for the 18-year-old’s future.

Raducanu made her first-ever WTA Tour-level final at the Chicago Challenger just two weeks ago, before heading straight to US Open qualifying.

She won through three rounds of qualifying without dropping a set, with the pre-main draw event taking place behind closed doors on the smaller courts of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The world No 150 also scored a straight-sets win over lucky loser Stefanie Voegele in 78 minutes to open her second successive Grand Slam main draw campaign, and will face Zhang Shuai on Thursday, with the Chinese star beating Raducanu in San Jose last month.

Bartoli also talked up the 18-year-old’s chances after making the main draw of the US Open, adding: “This is very exciting for British tennis. I was very happy to see her qualifying for the US Open main draw. It’s always a good sign when you can back up a good grand slam result with good results in a tougher competition – when you have to qualify and play three good matches without any public or media attention.

“Emma has a shot to beat a seed, and if she can do that, she has a good chance to do just as well as she did at Wimbledon.”

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