Emma Raducanu faces a major offseason ahead of the start of the 2022 season.
Expectations for the 19-year-old are very high after her remarkable victory at the US Open in September.
She won this tournament even before winning a game on the WTA Tour and is only at the start of her hopefully fantastic career.
Raducanu has, perhaps understandably, since struggled to repeat the high standards she displayed in New York to win the Grand Slam.
There have been early outings at Indian Wells, the Transylvanian Open and Linz, all tournaments she’s been in without a permanent coach.
This issue has been resolved with the hiring of Torben Beltz, and Raducanu’s new-look team will now begin preparations for the 2022 season.
Former Britain number one Greg Rusedski is hoping Raducanu can get stronger physically and work with his coach to be more tactically savvy at times.
“It’s going to take her 18 months to adjust to this because she came out of nowhere,” Rusedski told talkSPORT.com. “No one has ever won in qualifying and no one will ever win in qualifying.
“What she did is so historic.
“His trainer worked with Angelique Kerber and won several Slam tournaments. She needs that consistency in her team and it looks like she has it.
“This offseason, she will be able to become stronger physically and work on her game.
“Technically she’s very solid and it’s just about having the right tactical plays and not being so predictable sometimes.
“What happens when you become a player that a lot of people want to beat, they read your playing patterns and look at every aspect of your game.
“You have to make some adjustments and you have to be tactically astute. She has had great coaches in the past and now this offseason is huge for her to improve and keep working hard.
The expectations of many will be that she will be a challenge for the Grand Slam again in 2022 and perhaps those are unfair expectations to be placed on Raducanu.
Just six months ago, she was taking her A-Levels and was a relatively unknown tennis prospect.
Rusedski has described what he wants to see from the Bromley teenager in the coming year.
“There is no reason why it should not be in the top 10 by the end of 2022,” he said.
“The game is there, the physicality is there. She has so many attributes, but she gets used to the demands and is in the spotlight.
“She’s a big name now and all of a sudden she will be on every court in the stadium at every major event.
“We feel comfortable in this situation and I think she will. She’ll have a few deep runs at the Slams, but just give her time to get comfortable in this environment.
“She only earned her first two WTA touring victories in her second event after winning the US Open.
“It’s brand new to her and she just turned 19. What she has already accomplished, only three other players, in their first two majors, have qualified for the fourth round of each major tournament.
“Emma has won her second major and the names she is in conversation with are Jennifer Capriati, Monica Seles and Chrissy Evert.
“All multiple Slam winners and # 1. Be patient with our Emma, she will get there and she will have the results.
“She will be a great champion and someone to watch over the next decade.
“I’m looking forward to a very good 2022 from Emma.”
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