Emma Raducanu has the power and expertise to breed the “swagger” that helped her win the US Open with a fairy-tale run in New York final 12 months, says Barry Cowan.
Raducanu is trying ahead to attempting to construct and enhance on her latest shows in Cincinnati, with the US Open starting on Monday.
The 19-year-old hailed her run on the Western and Southern Open as a “nice step” ahead as she prepares to move to New York for the defence of her ladies’s singles title.
She produced a few of her finest tennis since final 12 months’s dazzling triumph to defeat Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka earlier than dropping to in-form American Jessica Pegula.
Regardless of sparking injury fears with her right wrist on the eve of the defence of her title there appears little doubt she will be able to reproduce the form of type which noticed her come via qualifying to raise her maiden Grand Slam crown?
“I believed she was excellent,” TV analyst Cowan informed Sky Sports activities trying again at her performances in Cincinnati. “The match she misplaced I believed was in all probability the one you’d get a greater gauge of her degree and it was excellent, very excessive, and it was encouraging what Emma mentioned after the match.
“I believe she appeared again to the game-style and the character, swagger and the arrogance that she had on the US Open final 12 months. In fact it is going to be troublesome emotionally as it’s for any participant if you happen to look again on the historical past of our sport. Anybody that wins a primary main they usually’ve acquired to return again and defend that title – it is powerful.
“Let’s not anticipate an excessive amount of from Raducanu however she shocked us final 12 months. We all know how nice she is mentally. I simply thought there have been encouraging indicators from her sport. I believe that is one thing she will be able to construct on. However simply get pleasure from it.
“I believe her rating is about High 50 and that is the place it is trying like it is going to be after the US Open. As and when the factors drop off, I believe, I hope and I anticipate we’ll simply see Emma play with somewhat bit extra freedom and develop her sport. The expertise of the final two or three years will profit her.”
What sort of affect has coach Dmitry Tursunov had on Raducanu’s latest good type?
“I knew Dmitry as an individual. I knew him as a participant. He was an absolute free-spirit and he is clearly had a superb observe file with among the gamers he is labored with, together with Aryna Sabalenka and Anett Kontaveit,” defined Cowan.
“If his function can be there to make Emma Raducanu really feel relaxed then that is half the battle and if you happen to’re a cheerful participant off the court docket then you definately’re extra prone to be a cheerful participant on the court docket.
“Proper now it appears a fairly good match and clearly additional down the street we’ll see how lengthy that relationship lasts. However proper now it looks as if a fairly optimistic affect that he is had as a result of Raducanu appears to be like quite a bit happier on the court docket.”
Will the lighter balls assist Raducanu?
New York is a good match for her and it is an excellent match for her character. I believe she is going to do nicely and I believe she has an opportunity of reaching the second week.
“The balls undoubtedly assist her and the rationale why they assist her is as a result of they’re faster. One of many causes for me that Raducanu was capable of disrupt quite a lot of her opponents final 12 months was as a result of she took the assault to them by holding her place on the baseline,” mentioned Cowan.
“She depends extra on utilizing tempo than creating her personal tempo. Let’s be trustworthy. She isn’t a Serena Williams or Sabalenka kind of participant by with the ability to generate enormous pictures however Ash Barty did fairly nicely.
“I believe the faster the courts, the faster the balls, and if you happen to’re assured you possibly can simply maintain your place on the baseline and use their tempo and I believe that is a bonus.
“New York is a good match for her and it is an excellent match for her character. I believe she is going to do nicely and I believe she has an opportunity of reaching the second week.”
Raducanu will sit up for a first-round conflict with France’s Alize Cornet on Tuesday (from midnight), whereas she might face four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka within the third spherical. Sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka is the projected fourth-round opponent.
Is that this actually Serena’s swansong?
Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic might play the a part of potential occasion pooper at Williams’ US Open retirement bash.
The match on Arthur Ashe can be full of a lot of the almost 25,000 cheering for the tennis icon standing throughout from her.
“Will probably be a tragic second whether it is due to what she has contributed and the way nice she is,” admitted Cowan. “I’ve by no means seen anybody within the ladies’s sport serve higher. She was a type of gamers that transcended the ladies’s sport however sadly every little thing is catching up on her so she now does not hit the ball as exhausting as the opposite ladies and bodily she’s nowhere close to in the identical form.
“I believe additionally she has misplaced the aura, that locker room energy of possibly half of the ladies being intimidated earlier than they stroll out onto the court docket. Having seen her play in latest weeks Serena has simply been manner off.”
Kovinic, ranked eightieth, might go from obscurity to arguably the game’s most well-known participant on Monday evening.
Together with Venus, it is such a robust story of their father believing of their journey and sacrificing completely every little thing. Typically you possibly can possibly get fortunate for one, you possibly can’t get fortunate for 2. Richard (Williams) all the time mentioned Serena was going to be the best and I believe it is fairly exhausting to disagree.
Andy Murray’s degree is sweet, however can he go deep in New York?
World No 49 Murray, who gained his maiden Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows a decade in the past, has struggled with cramp in latest matches so what can we anticipate from the 35-year-old in New York?
“I believe the scenario is similar now because it has been for some time which is that I see his degree as fairly good, however the harsh realities are bodily he is not in the identical form as a result of he is not capable of put in the identical work as he did 10 years in the past,” Cowan mentioned.
“Now he’s affected by cramps so now you’ve got acquired the scenario the place Murray is considering he is not as match as his opponent. Murray’s opponents have been considering 10 years in the past ‘I won’t have the ability to win this bodily battle’ however now they’re considering ‘I can win this bodily battle’ in a sport that may be so psychological when it comes to your perception or lack of perception.
“I believed Wimbledon was his finest shot however he simply acquired an unlucky draw by taking part in John Isner within the second spherical.
“Can he win matches right here? Sure, he can. Can he go deep? No, I do not suppose he can. Murray isn’t the kind of participant who can cruise via matches. He has to dig deep for his factors, his video games and his units. If Murray was to get via to the second week, I believe that may be a completely unbelievable effort.”
Murray meets twenty fourth seed Francisco Cerundolo from Argentina within the first spherical.
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What about Cam Norrie’s possibilities?
Regardless of gaining no factors for his run to the Wimbledon semi-finals – the primary time he had made it previous the third spherical at a Grand Slam – Norrie stands at a career-high 9 on the earth and is seeded within the prime eight at a significant for the primary time.
“He is amongst the elite gamers,” feels Cowan. “He continues to enhance having gained among the best three-set matches of the 12 months in opposition to Carlos Alcaraz. It was completely phenomenal and for Norrie to beat him reveals simply what he can do.
“I imagine the circumstances in New York swimsuit Norrie’s game-style greater than Wimbledon on the grass, however I do not suppose he’ll win it.”
Norrie will face unpredictable Frenchman Benoit Paire first up.
So who will win the boys’s US Open title?
“You could have the very prime guys, in the event that they get to the final 4, they’ve one other degree to go to. The gamers who do have a gear change are Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal, however I additionally suppose all 4 have large query marks,” admitted Cowan.
“The protected guess for me would in all probability be Medvedev as a result of he is had the matches.
“Rafa is clearly a doubt earlier than the match has began as a result of he is solely performed one match after Wimbledon, but when he was to get via the primary week then you need to be fairly silly to not say he is favorite.
“If you happen to’re weighing every little thing up about preparation and the shape that I’ve seen over the past three weeks I believe Medvedev’s type has improved and I’d edge towards him. If you happen to ask me the identical query firstly of the second week, then it is perhaps Nadal that comes into that equation.”
Barry Cowan was talking to Sky Sports activities’ Raz Mirza. Remember to comply with us on skysports.com/tennis, our Twitter account @skysportstennis & Sky Sports activities – on the go! Accessible to obtain now on – iPhone & iPad and Android