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What happened to British tennis player Emma Raducanu after winning the 2021 US Open?

The young star lived her breakthrough moment two years ago when she won her first major at the age of 18, but things got difficult after that.

The young star lived her breakthrough moment two years ago when she won her first major at the age of 18, but things got difficult after that.

When speaking about the rising stars in the tennis world, it’s almost impossible not to mention Emma Raducanu. The Brit unexpectedly won the US Open in 2021, lifting the trophy as a qualifier.

Her tennis level back then at Flushing Meadows was unmatched, as she defeated all of her nine opponents in straight sets. She came out on top against another promising player, Leylah Fernandez, in the first all-teen final since 1999.

Raducanu was expected to be one of the most interesting players in this year’s majors, but she wasn’t able to participate at the French Open and Wimbledon after announcing she had undergone minor surgery on both hands and her ankle. A big blow for British fans, who hoped to see her play in the third Grand Slam tournament of the year.

Raducanu’s decline

While everything seemed to be the starting point to a brilliant career for Raducanu after conquering the US Open, things have gone in a very different way.

One of the reasons why the current world No. 132 didn’t keep succeeding was the constant coach changing. After leaving everyone speechless with her magnificent tennis in New York, the only qualifier to ever win a major parted ways with Andrew Richardson.

Before that, she decided not to extend her partnership with Nigel Sears, who had led her to the fourth round of Wimbledon, two months before her historic moment in New York.

After splitting up with both coaches, Raducanu decided to hire Angelique Kerber’s long-time mentor Torben Beltz, but they would only work together for five months.

Raducanu decided to join forces with Dmitry Tursunov for her US Open title defense, but 15 games later she decided to change coaches to hire Sebastian Sachs, who guided Belinda Bencic to an Olympic gold medal in 2021. But their partnership only lasted 10 matches.

Besides the irregularity of having so many coaching changes in her last two years, Raducanu has also had to deal with injuries and illness.

She was diagnosed with Covid-19 in December 2021, which disrupted her preparations for the new season. She also had several blister issues in her hands and legs, and as happened to Carlos Alcaraz in the French Open semifinals, some cramping episodes too. Raducanu also had some back and rib pain episodes, as well as wrist injuries.

The British player’s last surgery (hands and ankle) in May forced her to withdraw from Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Raducanu had hoped to get back in shape in time to participate at the US Open, which started on August 28th, but it simply was not to be.

She has been out of action since then and is hoping to make a comeback in 2024, with a possible return to the Australian Open in January. American tennis legend Andy Roddick has given the 21-year-old some advice: “It’s tough because we don’t know if it’s a recurrence of the same two injuries that she has or if it’s a fitness issue or maybe the training is going so well they don’t want to interrupt a really cohesive training block with a trip to Macau in December,” he said. “I know one thing that has to happen if she’s going to go start playing a Slam in Australia, she’s going to have to play something before.”

Let’s hope that 2024 is the year Raducanu makes her comeback and we can see her in the majors and maybe even in Paris at the Olympic Games.