Emma Raducanu: Croft reveals advice for tennis star and her team
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Kamau Murray has called on the tennis world to offer more support to the likes of Emma Raducanu. The well-respected tennis coach guided Sloane Stephens to Grand Slam glory at the US Open back in 2017, and has issued a plea to the tennis world following the recent teenage success seen at Flushing Meadows.
Raducanu made history last month as she became the first ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam title at just 18 years old, failing to drop a set across 10 matches on her way to the US Open trophy.
She was joined in the final by fellow teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez, who also had her own fairytale run in New York, beating the likes of Naomi Osaka, Angie Kerber, Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka before losing to Raducanu in the final.
The pair have now joined Coco Gauff as the young teenage tennis stars tipped to dominate the game in the future, having achieved huge success so early in their respective careers.
However, acclaimed tennis coach Kamau Murray has issued a warning to those in the tennis world, calling on fans, pundits and fellow players to make things less “scary” for Raducanu, Fernandez and Gauff.
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“You look at all three of those players, they still have so much room for improvement. For them to have so much success so soon with still so much to improve upon is a good thing for them and a good thing for tennis,” Murray, who coached Stephens to her own US Open success back in 2017, told Tennis Channel.
“I think the one next step is when you have so much success so early, I mean it can be a scary thing.”
The recent Chicago Tennis Festival tournament director also said it was on the tennis support system to surround young players with experienced team members, after a comment Raducanu made following her opening loss to Aliaksandra Sasnovich pleading for any available coaches with tour-level experience to come forward.
Murray continued: “We hear Emma Raducanu in her post-match interview yesterday sort of pleading for assistance, and I think that, from a player standpoint and the support staff, we’ve got to start to set these players up, bring some experience on their team earlier in the process, and try to nor scare them.”
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The well-known and highly-respected coach handed Raducanu, Fernandez and Gauff some advice, reminding them to stay humble.
“Sometimes when you win a Grand Slam, we see the hangover effect. Sloane had a little bit of a hangover effect, Andreescu had a little bit of a hangover effect, Osaka’s sort of struggling right now,” he said.
“We’ve got to surround these players with peple who have been there before, a little bit of experience. And they’ve got to stay humble and listen.
“A lot of times players have a big win and their ears sort of get a little big closed right, and they start to sort of believe their own hype.”
The American, who ended his on-and-off six-year coaching partnership with Stephens ahead of the Miami Open earlier this year, also warned the young teenage tennis stars that things would become more difficult – something Raducanu has already experienced as she lost to world No 100 Sasnovich on Friday (October 8) in her highly-anticipated first match since winning the US Open.
“And I think what’s around the corner after a big Grand Slam win can be a very scary thing to an 18-year-old,” Murray added.
“My advice to them is to continue to stay humble, stay grateful, listen more and work harder. Because now with that target on your back, it gets harder to beat other players.”
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