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MIKE DICKSON: Emma Raducanu can be tennis’s next great star if she keeps smiling

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MIKE DICKSON: Serena and Venus are nearly finished, Naomi Osaka is dealing with her issues, others get flustered under pressure… so long as Emma Raducanu keeps smiling through the tsunami of fame, she can be tennis’s next great star











A stunning US Open win will be a moment in time for Emma Raducanu – there is more, much more, to come.

What we quickly learned about her this fortnight is that there are no attackable weaknesses in her game, and that is bad news for the competition.

Raducanu has hit the top of the women’s game at an opportune time.

There is much more to come for Emma Raducanu after her stunning US Open victory

There is much more to come for Emma Raducanu after her stunning US Open victory

There are no attackable weaknesses in her game and that is bad news for the competition

There are no attackable weaknesses in her game and that is bad news for the competition

The British 18-year-old has hit the top of the women’s tennis game at an opportune time

The British 18-year-old has hit the top of the women’s tennis game at an opportune time

While it is too soon to make the call that she will be world number one, when you look at who else is out there it has to be possible.

The women’s game is in a historic state of flux at the top, with anyone in the top 50 capable of beating anyone (except, it looked this fortnight, Raducanu).

Serena and Venus Williams are nearly finished. Ash Barty has had a lot taken out of her by a marathon trip on the road. Simona Halep has been troubled by injury.

Tennis legend Serena Williams is nearly finished

Venus Williams is also reaching the end of her career

Serena Williams (left) and Venus Williams (right) are nearly finished after long careers

Naomi Osaka, the most talented of all, has well-documented issues she is trying to deal with

Naomi Osaka, the most talented of all, has well-documented issues she is trying to deal with

Naomi Osaka, the most talented of all along with Barty, has well-documented issues she is trying to deal with. Elina Svitolina keeps tripping up at the Grand Slams.

Both Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka have massive power at their disposal and are the two best never to have won a Grand Slam. 

Both are prone to getting flustered under pressure, and that is one area in which Raducanu seems to have an edge – her quiet determination is slightly reminiscent of a young Steffi Graf, except with a more ready smile.

In short the star system in women’s tennis is eroding, and there are vacancies for a couple of players to step in. It could be that Raducanu and Fernandez are those two.

Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez (left) could fill the vacancies to be tennis's next big stars

Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez (left) could fill the vacancies to be tennis’s next big stars

No player from any country is going to be hit by the tsunami of interest that is now coming her way, earned by her own brilliant efforts

No player from any country is going to be hit by the tsunami of interest that is now coming her way, earned by her own brilliant efforts

Key will be how she deals with the first setbacks when they arrive, as they most surely will. There will need to be the ability not to overexpose herself to commercial opportunities and to bat off the coming intrusion into everything she does.

No player from any country is going to be hit by the tsunami of interest that is now coming her way, earned by her own brilliant efforts.

Now she will plot her schedule ahead, and it should be relatively sparing. One aspect for certain is that, at eighteen, there is no hurry.



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