Emma Raducanu setting a trend as Australian Open chief expects ‘transition’

Emma Raducanu has shown ‘ruthless streak’ says commentator

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Australian Open chief executive Craig Tiley believes that teen-tennis sensation Emma Raducanu could well have set the trend for some of the sport’s other rising stars to ‘transition’ on to the big stage.

The opening Grand Slam of the year is set to kick off in Melbourne in January, and the event’s CEO hopes Raducanu’s recent heroics will only be the beginning of a new breed of tennis stars.

The 18-year-old made tennis history in September as she became the first ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam tournament, as she claimed this year’s US Open without dropping a set.

Her record-breaking performance saw her become a sporting sensation overnight, with many tipping the Brit to now go onto even greater things in the long career that is ahead of her.

Her next Grand Slam outing will come Down Under in the new year, with many hoping she can repeat the heroics she displayed in New York two months ago.

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As well as another sublime showing from Raducanu, Australian Open boss Tiley is hoping that some of the sport’s other rising stars will follow suit.

Speaking about the prospect of some of tennis’ next big players performing in Melbourne on the AO show podcast, he said: “That’s somewhere like Emma Raducanu beat Leylah Fernandez at the finals of the US Open, 

“These were two names that people didn’t know about. In 2019, Leylah Fernandez was in the finals in AO juniors.”

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As a result Tiley believes the increase in younger talent will make for a much more competitive event in Melbourne come January.

He added: “So, it’s gonna be really exciting – both tours men and women, particularly, in the women’s side. I think it’s gonna be more open.”

The sport has seen some of the greatest athletes of all time in recent years across both the men’s and the women’s game, with the likes of Roger Federer and Serena Williams competing.

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However Tiley believes the sport is beginning a ‘transition’ towards a new set of stars, with the gap between the game’s youngsters and greats getting closer than ever.

He commented: “Yeah, there’s always a transition. We’ve enjoyed 15 years of these established champions. Serena and Venus on the women’s side and Maria Sharapova who’s just recently retired. 

“And then, on the men’s side, Roger and Rafa but the gap between those greats and the young players are now close.”

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