All eyes will be on British tennis sensation Emma Raducanu as she takes to the court in her hometown at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships. The youngster performed brilliantly last year, making the fourth round in London, before being forced to retire mid-match against Ajla Tomljanovic after experiencing difficulty breathing.
The 19-year old followed it up with a miraculous victory at the 2021 US Open, becoming the first woman to come through the qualifiers and win a Major.
Raducanu has not had a significant impact in any of the tournaments since, but has been putting the work in, trying to be more consistent and add more levels to her game. She made the quarterfinals at the Stuttgart Open, her best result since the start of 2022.
In an interview with Kate Battersby, tennis Hall of Famer and seven-time Grand Slam Champion John McEnroe rated the Brit's chances of succeding at the SW19 this year.
"She's a supremely talented individual and has an excellent chance to make a good run. If she's physiclly fit, I'd be very surprised if she lost early, to think she can't win Wimbledon is ridiculous," McEnroe said
Like Emma Raducanu, McEnroe came through qualifying as an 18-year old and reached the semifinals of the 1977 Wimbledon Championships, but the very next year he crashed out of the historic Grand Slam in the first round.
The American shared his thoughts on the impact the Brit had after winning her first Grand Slam and how it changed her life overnight.
"Expectations go up greatly when you pull off something like that, and Emma did something no one in the history of tennis has done. I'm assuming expectations in Britain are pretty high, the change in her life is overwhelming, the scrutiny is a bit much at times, it's the same everywhere, not just Britain. The bigger you are, the harder you fall," McEnroe said.
Emma Raducanu has only made the main draw at Wimbledon once in her career. This will be the first time she enters the tournament as a top fifteen ranked player.
"I think most of the people are tough on her" - Paula Badosa speaks out against the pressure on Emma Raducanu
2022 Sydney Classic winner Paula Badosa urged the British public and media to stop being tough on Emma Raducanu as the teenager prepares for the Wimbledon Championships.
Following her unprecedented rise last year, Badosa urged the US Open champion to be given time to settle.
"I mean her situation is very tough and she already did amazing things in this sport at a very young age and I think most of the people are tough on her. In the other side I can understand press is press but still it puts so much pressure on her and she's a teenager still and has so much to learn, " Badosa said.
Badosa also emphasized the fact that the World No. 11 Brit is still very young in her career and needs more experience on tour. She hailed Raducanu's talent but also stated that it is impossible to win every tournament she participates in.
"I think she needs time and she needs more experience on tour and she will get it. But I think people has to stop putting all this pressure on her and expectation because what she did is played very, very well in one Grand Slam and she won it so you can see how good she is. But you cannot expect her to win every match and every tournament becuase that is impossible," Badosa said
Badosa is the top seed at the Eastbourne Rothesay International, where Emma Raducanu opted not to take a wildcard. The Brit could participate in an exhibition match at the Hurlingham Club next week to get more time on the surface ahead of the Wimbledon Championships, which start on June 27.