World no. 5 Maria Sakkari has said Emma Raducanu does not get enough credit as she tries to make her way on the WTA tour.
Raducanu returns to the Nottingham Open this week, where she made her tour debut in June 2021 just a few weeks before her fairytale run to the fourth round at Wimbledon. The 19-year-old went on to storm to last year’s US Open title as a qualifier.
But the teenager has had mixed results since then, finding it tough to adjust to the physical demands of life on the tour, whilst playing against seasoned pros. Her latest defeat was in the second round of the French open, when she lost to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in three sets.
Sakkari, who was beaten by Raducanu in the quarterfinals of the US Open, has said the British no. 1 is going to need time.
“I don’t really know her that well, but people don’t give enough credit to her. She has been playing good,” Sakkari said.
“It is not easy, if you exclude the US Open, she is 19. It takes time. The level at WTA is very, very high, so it is going to take time for her and every young player just to get used to the level.
“She had a three-week tournament in New York and I think now what she is doing is the right thing.
“It took me a lot of time because my breakthrough was later than other players. Everyone has different times to break through. For me it was two or three years until I got used to the Tour — it always takes time.”
Ahead of her appearance in Nottingham, Raducanu said it felt “surreal” to return to where it all started, although she is not concerned about where results go this season.
“This was my first tournament, and to come back 12 months later, knowing what happened, it’s pretty surreal,” Raducanu said.
“The grass season is going to be a lot of fun. I love the grass, but there are so many good players in the draw and it’s dependent on so many things; the form on the day, how you match up against your opponent.
“Results, at this point, I kind of stop thinking about it, because there is no use in doing that. If you’re doing the right things, then it will follow.”