Emma Raducanu has become such a household name that it feels as though she has around for years. She is, however, yet to reach the one-year anniversary of her maiden Grand Slam appearance at Wimbledon in 2021.
A meteoric rise to prominence has been enjoyed by the Bromley native since then, with sporting wings carrying her far from home in south London and towards the business end of the global tennis pecking order.
When taking to the court in SW19 for the first time, Raducanu sat at number 338 in the WTA rankings chart. After progressing through to the fourth round, she surged into the top 200 and has not looked back.
A quite stunning success at the US Open catapulted her onto a whole new level, up to within touching distance of the world’s top 10, and an account of major honours has been opened before gracing them all on at least one occasion.
That particular box will be ticked in Paris come May, with a first foray onto the clay of Roland Garros about to be taken in. After a visit to the French capital, attention will switch back to a return to Raducanu’s roots in the English equivalent.
Home support will be very much on her side again, but is she capable of claiming another prestigious prize? Attempting to answer that question has, frankly, become an almost impossible task.
Ordinarily, particularly when dealing with a market as competitive as women’s tennis, you would look to external influences for assistance in making a considered judgement. Sport is now awash with such resources, with inspiration being taken from other industries that seek to advise and assist those in need. In much the same way as the entertainment world presents assessment tools with the best casino reviews assembled all in one place, statistical and analytical data for ball games is now easily accessible at the touch of a button.
As can often be the case in other virtual and real life realms, though, endeavouring to separate the great from the good can be a tricky business. Ratings, whether they be star or points based, offer helpful nudges in the right direction, but personal taste must also be considered.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 11, 2021
Form is also a vital factor to take into account when assessing the pros and cons of any elite performer looking to compete for major honours at the top level of their chosen profession. Without momentum and belief being built, ultimate goals will always prove difficult to hit.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 5, 2021
It is fair to say that Raducanu has experienced something of a rollercoaster existence across her relatively short career. For all the logic-defining highs, there have been as many frustrating lows.
That is because she remains a work in progress and cannot be considered a finished article in the space of 12 months. She has, however, picked up a useful habit of defying the odds and silencing any doubters. It would come as a surprise to nobody if her star were to soar once again ahead of a return to the luscious grass on which a fuse was first lit.