WTA

Raducanu: Cincinnati run was a 'great step' ahead of US Open title defence

By Sports Desk August 19, 2022

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  • Raducanu 'extremely grateful' after being awarded MBE Raducanu 'extremely grateful' after being awarded MBE

    Emma Raducanu felt "extremely grateful" after being made an MBE for her services to tennis.

    The 20-year-old was presented with the honour by King Charles III in a ceremony at Windsor Castle on Tuesday.

    It comes 14 months after Raducanu's fairytale triumph at the US Open, where she became the first British female grand slam champion since Virginia Wade's Wimbledon victory in 1977.

    The then 18-year-old was also the first qualifier to land a major after her straight-sets her win over Leylah Fernandez in the championship match at Flushing Meadows.

    In a statement released via her agent, Raducanu said: "It's been great to receive my honour today from his Majesty the King - I feel extremely grateful."

    Raducanu did not enjoy a fruitful season in 2022, as she failed to win a trophy or progress beyond the second round in any of the grand slams.

    Her deepest run in a tournament came in September, when she reached the semi-finals of the Korea Open, but she had to retire hurt from a semi-final tie with Jelena Ostapenko.

  • 'We're not machines' - Federer says players' mental health not helped by tour demands 'We're not machines' - Federer says players' mental health not helped by tour demands

    Roger Federer believes the intense tennis tour schedule can have a negative impact on the mental health of players.

    Federer, now retired, won 20 grand slam titles between 2003 and 2018 before stepping away from the sport in September of this year, and he is well aware of the challenges players face.

    A number of big-name stars have spoken out about their mental health, including Naomi Osaka and Nick Kyrgios, and Federer feels the packed tennis calendar does not help players.

    "When players retire at a super young age, I totally understand it," Federer told a press conference in Tokyo. "The tour is tough... travel, practice, jetlag.

    "Nobody is allowed to say, 'Oh, I'm tired today', because it looks like you're weak, and that's why players end up having sometimes mental problems.

    "You're supposed to show strength. But we're also not machines, we’re also just human beings."

    Federer played on the tour for 25 years before calling it a day, and he is making the most of being able to finally relax, saying: "As a tennis player you're always thinking about your next practice, your next match. It never lets you go.

    "I don't think I was that much aware of it, how much that thought is always there, and it rides with you, until you retire and then you realise that stress all drops away."

    He pointed to doping tests, and the fact players must constantly make authorities away of their whereabouts.

    "We have to fill out the doping forms every single day, one hour during the day, where you are," Federer said. "You're always aware in the back of your head, they could be coming any moment, especially in that hour.

    "Once that all drops away you actually feel quite lighter, relieved that you can actually live normally again after 25 years."

  • United Cup draw throws up potential Nadal-Kyrgios encounter, with Swiatek leading Poland United Cup draw throws up potential Nadal-Kyrgios encounter, with Swiatek leading Poland

    Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios could face off in the inaugural United Cup, while WTA world number one Iga Swiatek will represent Poland.

    The United Cup is the new warm-up tournament for the ATP and WTA Tour seasons, and will take place in Australia in December and January.

    While ATP world number one Carlos Alcaraz will not feature, compatriot Nadal will be competing for Spain, and they have been drawn alongside Australia and Great Britain in Group D.

    Those matches will be played in Perth, with a clash between Nadal and Kyrgios, who have enjoyed an entertaining rivalry down the years, in the offing.

    They were set to meet in the semi-finals at Wimbledon this year, but Nadal withdrew due to injury, handing Kyrgios a walkover into his first grand slam final, which he lost to Novak Djokovic, who will not be playing in Australia.

    Serbia are not among the batch of teams taking part, but even so, there remains doubt whether Djokovic would be able to enter Australia given his stance against the COVID-19 vaccine, which eventually saw him deported from the country after a drawn-out legal battle ahead of this year's Australian Open.

    Emma Raducanu has decided against playing for the British team, which also does not feature Andy Murray.

    Casper Ruud, the beaten US Open finalist, will play for Norway in Group E, in Brisbane, while Alexander Zverev will be in action for Germany.

    Swiatek is the biggest name from the WTA Tour to enter, with the brilliant 21-year-old lining up alongside Hubert Hurkacz for Poland in Group B.

    Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas, along with his brother Petros, will team up for Greece in Group A.

    Two more countries will be admitted to the tournament later in November.

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