Emma Raducanu warned she is under ‘huge microscope’ after historic US Open win

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has warned Emma Raducanu she will be under a "huge microscope" as the British teenager prepares for a more intense schedule in 2022.

Despite withdrawing from the Melbourne Summer Set event this week, Raducanu is still due to fly to Sydney to play in a warm-up event ahead of this month's Australian Open – her first Grand Slam since her remarkable triumph at the US Open in September.

That success saw the 19-year-old become the first qualifier in history to win a Slam event, and the first British woman to take a major title of any kind since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.

It also cemented an incredible rise in the world rankings for the young star, beginning the year outside the top 300, but finishing at no. 19 having also reached the last 16 of Wimbledon in July.

However, despite being crowned BBC Sport's Personality of the Year and receiving an MBE in the New Year's Honours, things have not gone smoothly on the court for Raducanu since Flushing Meadows, struggling to replicate her form before testing positive for Covid-19.

Somewhat dubiously, she opted to part ways with coach Andrew Richardson after the tournament in New York, and after trialling candidates has now settled on German Torben Beltz.

And now Navratilova, herself an 18-time Grand Slam winner, believes her new found superstardom will bring both physical and emotional pressures.

“It’s going to be so much to handle physically, playing more matches, but everybody’s going to be gunning for her," she told WTA Insider .

“The pressure is going to be on her emotionally, as well. Being a Brit, she’s under a huge microscope, and it’s hard to get away from it.”

The Czech icon cited Raducanu's lack of tour experience as the main obstacle to come. Indeed, she didn't register her first WTA Tour win until October, when she reached the quarter finals of the Transylvania Open.

“It’s going to be hard for her this year," Navratilova added.

“Players have seen her, they know what to do against her. But most of all, she just needs matches.

"She’s the biggest wildcard for me. Because clearly, she has the ability to play great tennis. Can she replicate it consistently enough? Eight WTA-level tournaments in her life? That’s half a season."

The Australian Open, which will be Raducanu's first, starts on January 17.

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