Emma Raducanu won the US Open in 2021 becoming the first qualifier to do so. She won 10 straight matches and didn’t drop a set. It was an impressive run that Billie Jean King found astonishing. But as Raducanu is still trying to find her way after winning a Grand Slam, Billie Jean King has some words of advice for her.
Since winning the US Open, Raducanu hasn’t won a title. In fact, the US Open remains her only title on the WTA tour. She likes to change coaches – a lot – and that could be a sign of several things. One is that she isn’t satisfied with how well she is playing and is a perfectionist and needs a coach to match that level. That’s probably not completely the case.
A second reason is that she is temperamental and difficult to deal with. We don’t know that’s true, of course. But her changing coaches so many times is likely an indication there is a problem somewhere.
Billie Jean King has some pearls of wisdom for Emma Raducanu
But Billie Jean King thinks Raducanu has a lot of potential to be a star on the WTA circuit. But, as King told Sky Sports, Raducanu needs to drown out the criticism. Per King
"If you want to be a professional athlete, it’s tough. And you’ve got to learn not to listen to criticism, you got to learn all these things and that’s why I say don’t take anything personally because once you learn that, you’re okay."
Billie Jean King, of course, would know a thing or six about not listening to criticism. She proved in the early 1970s that women weren’t just swinging rackets around on the court, but instead formidable players capable of defeating anyone, male or female. King is also a 12-time major champion.
Raducanu is working her way back from having wrist and ankle surgery in May but hopes to be back for the US Open when it begins in late August. It remains to be seen if she will ever be a long-term stay in the top ten, but if she listens to Billie Jean King, Raducanu might be a better player than she is now.
Venus Williams is still training
In other news, Venus Williams is still wanting to win tournaments. Turns out that to help her attempt to do that she is training at the Rafael Nadal Tennis Academy in Mallorca, Spain. Venus is 43 years old but still wants to prove herself, and getting assistance from one of the best academies in the world is a great place to start. How awesome would it be if she won the US Open this year?