Sue Barker argued ‘there’s nothing wrong with being a one-Slam wonder’ during a discussion over Emma Raducanu’s struggles since her stunning US Open win last September. The 19-year-old sensation has been warned that ‘everyone’s after her’ on the WTA Tour ahead of her second Wimbledon campaign.
Raducanu became a tennis superstar in the space of a few months last year, winning the hearts of SW19 at Wimbledon before incredibly winning the US Open as a qualifier without dropping a single set. But, still a teenager, she’s struggled to adapt to full-time life on the WTA Tour and has been hampered by injuries since her glory at Flushing Meadows.
She’s looked set to be fit for Wimbledon after scans showed encouraging signs and her withdrawal from the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham next week. But former British No 1 John Lloyd has warned Raducanu that she’s not a rookie anymore, so expectations, and level of competition, will be much higher than last year.
During BBC Two’s Queen’s coverage, he said: “She set the bar pretty high. She won the US Open. She’s won a Slam already, so everybody’s after her. The players on tour are after her. They’ve learnt… coaches have taught them how to play against her. When she came out at the US Open, she was still not really that well known. The pressure has come from the public, and at Wimbledon, it’s going to be the same thing.
“This year, it’s already looking a bit tough, it may look tough for the rest of the year, maybe. But from what I’ve seen of her and what people have told me about her, she will rebound. When she gets enough time to play, I don’t think she’ll be a one-Slam wonder. And if she is, so what?”
Barker, hosting the coverage, put Lloyd in his place shortly after, saying: “There’s nothing wrong with being a one-Slam wonder!” The ex-world No 3 won 15 titles throughout her tennis career, picking up the 1976 French Open as her sole Grand Slam title – and sole appearance in a final for that matter.
Lloyd, who reached the 1977 Australian Open final but never won a major, made sure to acknowledge Raducanu and Barker’s achievements in his response. And he backed the former to stay prominent rather than become a ‘one-Slam wonder’ due to her ‘hunger’ for more success.
“We should all be so lucky [to win one Grand Slam],” Lloyd continued in praise of Raducanu. “I mean, that’s still an amazing feat. I don’t think she will be someone who goes away because I think she’s hungry for more. I think she’s going to stay around and win a lot more matches.”