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In case you’ve forgotten, the 2021 hard court swing was where Emma Raducanu burst onto the world’s stage for women’s tennis. Or perhaps more specifically, this is where she achieved one of the great fairytale stories of our sport. In 2021, Raducanu won the US Open without losing a single set. Amazingly, she came through the qualifying draw to do this as well, which is something that we just never see! However, since this emphatic victory in New York, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that Raducanu has somewhat underperformed over the last 12 months.
In some ways, this was to be expected as she adjusts to life in the spotlight, as well as life as one of the top players in the world. But Raducanu would probably be the first to admit that she would’ve liked to play better over the last year. With that said, we are now back on the turf that served her so well for the 2021 season. And having watched her game yesterday, she looked confident on the court once again.
So is this the start of something special again for Emma Raducanu? Let’s find out.
Raducanu – The Journey to the 2022 US Open Begins
As you probably know already, the tournament that she is competing in right now is the WTA 250 event in Washington. Of course, a 250 event is quite a way away from the Grand Slam level tournament at Flushing Meadows. But it’s a start, and for me, it’s something that Raducanu needs to build confidence in her game once again. However, there is no escaping the fact that pundits all over the globe are talking about whether she can replicate the incredible feat of 2021.
Taking this into account, let us run through the details on where she is currently at and where she needs to be on her journey to the US Open 2022:
Current Position – Confidence Building for Hard Courts
Over the last 12 months, Raducanu has struggled to string match wins together, on any surface. But now that she has kicked things off with a win in Washington, I’d say that this is perfect for the confidence-building stage. At the same time, the fact that she is playing a 250 event as a top 10 player means that she is also seeking this kind of experience and confidence boost too.
Needed – Big Wins Against Top Level Opponents in Current Week
With the 2022 US Open less than a month away, time really is of the essence at the moment. And personally, I feel that she needs to strike some big wins within the next few weeks. This could be at any of the hard-court tournaments! By doing so, she will prove to herself once again that she has the game to beat the best in the business on a hard court.
Chances at the 2022 US Open – Slim but Possible
At the end of the day, can Emma Raducanu win the 2022 US Open? Well, given the fact that she won the thing last year it’s hard to say no. But this felt like a bit of a ‘once in a lifetime’ type of achievement. I say this in terms of the way that she did it. However, if she gets some big wins under her belt and regains confidence, she certainly has a shot.