EMMA RADUCANU has been told she faces a “very tough” time in the Wimbledon pressure-cooker – but tennis bosses believe she has the maturity to deal with the scrutiny.
Emma-Mania is expected to consume all events in SW19 in late June and early July when Raducanu plays her first Wimbledon as the reigning US Open champion.
Tim Henman and Andy Murray both had and dealt with the enormous expectation that comes with being a home favourite at this special grass-court Slam.
There will be plenty of words written, photographs taken and opinions given by high-profile stars, both on TV and social media, on what Raducanu should or should not do.
Obviously it is easy to forget that Raducanu, despite her incredible success in New York, is still only 19 years old and yet to play a full year on the Tour.
Raducanu, who is playing Stuttgart this week and has been bathing blistered feet in surgical spirit, reached the last 16 of 2021 Wimbledon.
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Security will be a major consideration and it was noticeable she had an appointed LTA bodyguard with her throughout the Billie Jean King Cup tie defeat to the Czech Republic in Prague.
LTA CEO Scott Lloyd said: “It’s going to be in some ways a very tough year, a tough summer for her, in terms of her profile.
“It’s only a year ago she was sitting her A-Levels.
“Emma needs to try to find what works for her in terms of how she navigates the Tour and the travelling, domestic tournaments or internationally.
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“It’s about getting into a pattern of where she wants to play in the lead-up to a Grand Slam. She doesn’t know that yet.
“She has a long way to go in terms of starting to find herself and learn what works for her to deliver optimal performances.
“The one thing I’ll say on that is that you saw her navigate that last summer with incredible maturity given the circumstances. She has a very level head on her shoulders.
“It’s a development period, it’s a learning experience, but she is in a good place. She knows what she wants to try and do.
“She is an incredible tennis player. I’m sure she will go on to many more successes in the years to come.”
The US Open trophy that Raducanu won last September is on display at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in London.
Tennis chiefs ae planning to take the silverware on the road from May onwards for the British public to see with schools, clubs and tournaments the likely destinations.
Britain may still qualify as wildcard entrants for the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in November – if they are chosen as hosts by the ITF.
Some might argue that they do not deserve the spot given they were beaten 3-2 by the Czechs over the Easter weekend.
But captain Anne Keothavong said: “It’d be amazing if we did have the opportunity to host.
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“In terms of do we deserve it? Yeah. This deserves a chance to play and compete against the very best.
“We’ve a strong following back home in the UK. To have a team event on UK soil would be well supported and the players would embrace it.”
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