Emma Raducanu, 21, is expected to play her first tournament of the 2024 season in Auckland, New Zealand. Her return to the WTA has left her fans buzzing with excitement. One of them seems to be the World No. 11, Casper Ruud.
In a recent questionnaire, Casper Ruud came out with a bold claim. He said that he expects a healthy Emma to be contending against the likes of Swiatek and Sabalenka for major titles and Grand Slams in the upcoming season.
His faith in her has been backed by the stellar performances she put in her maiden title win at the US Open in 2021. Emma won the tournament as a qualifier and without dropping a single set throughout the event.
“On the women’s side, is Emma fit again? Is she going to play Australia? She’s a potential to probably win another Slam I think, for sure. If she’s doing a good pre-season.”, said Casper.
He further added to his opinion by citing her 2021 US Open performance.
[She’s] explosive. And I think also if you see her moving around on the court she’s really good. When we watched her win the US Open, that was something that stood out.-Casper Ruud added to his initial comments.
Even though, She put the world on notice by her performances in the 2021 US Open. Her career has not taken off the way it should have, rather she has seen herself falling in a slump of poor and unimpressive performances.
She hasn’t made it past the second round in any of the 5 Grand Slams she has participated in. She has also faced major injuries and has undergone three surgeries. All of these setbacks meant that the once World No. 10 fell down to 299 in the current WTA rankings.
“She’s still massively inexperienced” Tim Henman asks fans to have lower expectations from Emma Raducanu on her return
Fans around the world are excited for Emma’s return to action. However, Tim Henman has warned them and has urged them to keep their expectations in check.
In a recent interview given to the Eurosport, he said the following.
“I think it’s important that everybody around tennis who’s a fan, who’s excited to see Raducanu back on the court, manages their expectations. She’s been out for a long, long time and she’s still massively inexperienced. She’s played so few tour-level events, she’s played so few matches in her whole professional career.”
The former British player said that it will take some time for Emma Raducanu to truly get back into peak shape. She will need at least two to three months to dust off her rustiness from missing actions for so long.
“So for me, from, let’s say, the first three, four months of the year, I think if she could stay injury free and play a whole series of tournaments without any setbacks, I think that would be fantastic because there is no doubt about her ability.”
In addition to this, he also exclaimed that it was “massively exciting” to see her return. He commended her dedication and hard work to get herself back to the court.
“She’s an incredible tennis player. She’s working hard to build her physical resilience so that she can be out on court, be on tour and compete.”