Andy Murray praised Emma Raducanu’s “incredible” US Open victory and spoke of a “huge opportunity” for British tennis.
Kent teenager Raducanu took New York by storm, not dropping a set en route to victory as she became the first qualifier in history to claim a grand slam crown.
Fellow Briton Murray was asked at a press conference on Monday about the 18-year-old after his first-round victory over Yannick Maden at the Rennes Open.
And the three-time Grand Slam winner said: “It was incredible what she did there.
“I think for a lot of the people involved in British tennis, we knew she was extremely good. She hadn’t competed much in the last about 18 months with school and coronavirus and things like that, but I think at Wimbledon ( where Raducanu made it to the fourth round) everyone got a little glimpse of how good she could be.
“I’ve spent a little bit of time around her on the practice pitch, but more in the same building, training close together and watching what she’s doing, and she’s obviously very, very good.
“But what she did in New York was very special, a huge boost for British tennis and hopefully it will give the governing bodies an opportunity to take advantage of that and get more and more children involved in the sport. It’s amazing what she’s done and a huge opportunity for British tennis now.”
Raducanu, who defeated Canadian teen Leylah Fernandez in the final, is the first British woman to win a grand slam title since Virginia Wade at Wimbledon in 1977.
And former UK number one Tim Henman believes she will win many more.
On Radio Four’s Today program, Henman said: “What’s amazing is how she picked it up at 18.
“The level of tennis she’s played – she’s won 10 games to win the US Open – it’s absolutely incredible.
“The pressure is all her own fault, but she’s handled herself so well and that’s what’s so incredibly exciting for her to move forward, but also very exciting for us because we can follow that journey.
“For British tennis, British sport and for world tennis, it has really changed the landscape over the past three weeks.
“I’ve been in the game long enough to know who’s good, who’s very good and who could be a flash in the pan, and that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“She’s the real deal and she’s going to win more of these events in the future, I’m convinced. She will become a superstar in this sport and an incredible role model for young girls and young children.”
Henman, the former Wimbledon and US Open semi-finalist, added: “Fairytale runs don’t always end with a win and that’s what happened. I think I’m still a little bit in shock, so I’m scared to think about how she feels.”
Wade, who also won the US Open in 1968 and the Australian Open in 1972, hopes Raducanu will be able to cope with being catapulted to stardom.
She told BBC Breakfast: “That’s probably the hardest thing to deal with these days and so she needs to have some really good advice on that.
“I think for Emma, Emma has to understand how good she really is, but you have to constantly work to keep it, she has to have that confidence – if you believe you’re better than the others, you’re going to beat them.”
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