Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has showered praise on newly-crowned US Open champion Emma Raducanu, labeling the British teenager a once-in-a-lifetime talent, whose humility is as commendable as her game.
Emma Raducanu, 18, lifted the US Open title last Saturday, beating fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3 in the final. In doing so, the Brit became the first qualifier in the history of the sport to win a Grand Salm.
Raducanu broke several other records en route to her triumph, most of which came as a huge surprise given her inexperience on the big stage.
Jurgen Klopp, whose Liverpool side are one of the most hardworking teams on the planet, believes it was hard work and determination that shaped Raducanu's success.
The German also pointed out that the British teenager's humility is one of her plus points. Klopp further claimed that Raducanu's incredible run would motivate him to watch more women's tennis in the future.
“When you are an 18-year-old and win the US Open it can only come from hard work," Jurgen Klopp said. "She (Emma Raducanu) is for sure the talent of the century, but without hard work it is not possible to be there and doing that. Now she is there and you see her smiling during the game, it is the nicest thing I can imagine. I will watch women’s tennis much more, for sure, than I did in the last few years.”
Klopp admitted it had been a while since he had watched an entire tennis match and, in the same breath, marveled at Raducanu and Fernandez's power-packed games.
Klopp asserted that he was particularly impressed by the maturity shown by both players during their speeches at the presentation ceremony.
“It is long ago that I watched a full tennis game and I was impressed by the power, the speed and the whole game,” said Klopp. “Women’s tennis is obviously in a brilliant moment. These two girls, 18 and 19, what they showed in the game was massively impressive."
"But then when they got the trophies during the ceremony, how both girls spoke was really inspiring to be honest," he added. "Even more so than the tennis, which was inspiring enough."
"Leylah Fernandez was obviously disappointed, and Emma Raducanu showed great respect for her" - Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp then went on to highlight just how gracious Raducanu was towards Fernandez, revealing that he was "overwhelmed" by their behavior.
Klopp also expressed his desire to see Raducanu and Fernandez face off in many more finals in the future.
“I was absolutely overwhelmed by the way they presented themselves," Jurgen Klopp said. "Fernandez was obviously disappointed and Emma showed great respect for her. They knew they will face each other in the future very often and be in many more finals. I wish that for them. It was a great show of sportsmanship and elite sport and how humble you can be while so young and on top of the world.”