Raducanu showed superstar’s reaction at Wimbledon – now US Open has made her one

Emma Raducanu is probably scheduled to land in London over the next couple of days … but her feet will not touch the ground.

Everyone will want a piece of an athlete who has written one of the most remarkable chapters in British sporting history.

And that will be as mountainous a challenge as the one that faced her when she struck her first ball in US Open qualifying.

As usual, Gareth Southgate got it spot-on last week when he spoke about the unique pressure that high-achieving sportsmen and women have to deal with.

It takes a certain mental resolve to deal with it.

And while you can never be certain, Raducanu appears to have that resolve.

How do we know?

By the way she reacted to events at Wimbledon this year.

Such has been the scale of her achievements in New York, it is easy to forget Raducanu became the youngest British woman to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon in the Open era.

But remembering the way she faltered against Ajla Tomljanovic makes her US Open heroics all the more impressive.

Trailing in the second set, having lost the first, breathing difficulties meant the teenager was unable to carry on.

Never mind the magnificent feat of getting to that stage of the tournament, the focus was on Raducanu’s mentality.

She was and is, for goodness sake, 18 years of age.

Doesn’t everyone have their moments when they are 18?

Raducanu dealt with the situation with remarkable, plain-speaking honesty, admitting the occasion and pressure might have got to her.

It is easy with hindsight – and few would have predicted her impact in the final Grand Slam of the tennis season – but it was clear in her reaction to events at Wimbledon that she was a superstar in the making.

Those on the inside have long spoken about Raducanu’s precocious talent.

But anyone with passing interest in professional sport knows that precocious talent is not enough.

With the way she has continued her progress post-Wimbledon, Raducanu has demonstrated an attitude that streaks through all sporting greats.

A fearlessness.

Frighteningly fearless in her play, pleasantly fearless in her manner.

That is why she is being billed as a marketing dream.

Let’s face it, financially, this US Open has already made her for life.

When she does touch down, it will be a question of which commercial contracts to sign. For how long and for how much.

That is when she will need guidance, that is when she will need advice.

She would do far worse than going to Andy Murray for it.

He could tell her about the expectation of a nation, he could tell her about staying focused, he could tell her about not being distracted by the bright lights away from the court.

But you suspect she already knows these things.

What she probably does not know is how much of an inspiration she already is.

Seriously, there are young girls and boys telling teachers at schools in my area that they want to play tennis.

Unfortunately, they are unlikely to find a public tennis court they can use.

And they won’t be playing it at school.

That’s what makes Raducanu’s feats all the more commendable.

When we have often lamented British shortcomings on the professional stage, we forget that this country is NOT really a tennis nation.

But thankfully, we have had Murray to sustain our interest.

And now we have Raducanu.

That expectation is a big burden for an 18-year-old to carry.

But in the Big Apple, Emma Raducanu has already shown it is one she can bear.

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