Emma Raducanu would not have won Grand Slam 20 years ago, says former tennis star

Flavia Pennetta Emma Raducanu

The success of Emma Raducanu at the US Open is still a hot topic on everyone's lips a month after the 18-year-old wrote her name in history.

She became the first ever qualifier to reach a Grand Slam final, and ended Britain's 44-year wait for another female champion.

Raducanu faced Leylah Fernandez in an all-teenage final at Flushing Meadows, where she beat the Canadian 6-3, 6-4.

Since her first Grand Slam win, the Brit has skyrocketed up the world rankings – rising from 150th to 24th and becoming the new British number one.

Compatriots and tennis greats Tim Henman and Andy Murray have been avid supporters of Raducanu since her major debut at Wimbledon in June. However, not all stars of the sport have been complimentary about the teen.

Emma Raducanu US Open

Flavia Pennetta believes there is "something wrong" with modern tennis, and that's why Raducanu scooped her US Open title.

"I don't like it. What is happening, this very strong discontinuity, in my opinion is not good for tennis," the Italian said in an interview with newspaper Corriere della Sera. "In my time it could never have happened that a young girl played from qualifying, like Emma Raducanu in New York, to win a Grand Slam."

Pennetta also enjoyed winning the US Open during her playing days, but overall she won just one Grand Slam singles title in her 15 years of playing.

Flavia Pennetta

Her victory at Flushing Meadows came in her final year in the sport, and she retired not long after winning the tournament. 

Her highest ever WTA ranking was sixth and she reached number one status in doubles after winning the Australian Open with Argentina's Gisela Dulko.

GMS Giveaway


"Top athletes made too much difference," continued Pennetta, reflecting on a time when high profile players like the Williams sisters dominated the court. "There is something wrong. Charisma is missing, so women's tennis is more difficult to sell."

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