Emma Raducanu will take to the court of Melbourne Park on Tuesday in her Australian Open debut.
The Briton is set to appear in just her third ever Grand Slam, having previously featured at Wimbledon, followed by the US Open, where she won the title in sensational fashion.
Raducanu will face USA’s Sloane Stephens in the first round of the Australian Open and there’s already a lot of pressure on her shoulders.
After rapidly ascending up the world rankings and into the spotlight, brands have been scrambling to work with Britain’s new tennis trailblazer.
Raducanu recently signed endorsement deals with the likes of Dior, Evian, and Tiffany & Co.
But while she may be impressing with her off-court achievements, the world number 18 has hit a dip in form since returning from the US Open and is yet to produce the same standard displayed at Flushing Meadows in September.
Many have blamed this lull on Raducanu being ‘distracted’ by her newfound fame, to which the star responded by releasing a clever advert with Nike to hit back at these claims.
The 19-year-old has since addressed her recent defeats personally and admitted she is not taking anything as a negative outcome.
“There are still so many areas of my game that I need to develop,” Raducanu told the PA New agency. “Playing these players who have been doing it for a long time or have more experience on the tour, they’re more used to this.
“I feel like this patch of maybe losing every single week, it’s a great step in my development. I think it’s going to make me a stronger and better player going forward because, if I keep being shown what’s wrong, then it’ll kick in and I’ll learn and become even better.”
The bar has been set astronomically high for Raducanu since she stunned the world with her US Open victory. Without dropping a single set, the teenager became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam, and ended Britain’s 44-year wait for another female champion.
Raducanu was also named Sports Personality of the Year and honoured with an MBE for her astonishing achievement in New York. But all of this has only ramped up the expectations of the young star, who made her WTA Tour debut just seven months ago.
“One of my goals last year was to try to make it into qualifying here so to be here in the main draw I think is a great achievement,” she continued.
“This year I just want to enjoy every time I go out on court and look back at the end of the year and see an upward trend. I want to look back and be in a better position than I started even if I know there are going to be ups and downs.”