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Tennis

WTA names Emma Raducanu Newcomer of the Year

Emma Raducanu
WTA names Emma Raducanu newcomer of the Year. Photo/Sky Sport

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has announced British No.1 tennis star Emma Raducanu its newcomer of the year.

In 2021, the 19-year-old became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title by winning the US Open. Just two months before, she was the youngest British woman to get to the Wimbledon last 16 in her maiden appearance at a grand slam.

She ranks 19th in the world at the end of the year, having started the year in 343rd place.

Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu. [Photo/Sky Sports

This year’s WTA Player of the Year award went to world number one Ashleigh Barty of Australia, who had just won a tour-leading five WTA tournaments.

Barty’s consistency in 2021 paid off handsomely. She goes to record as the most consistent player of the season. She won two WTA 1000 trophies – Miami and Cincinnati.

The Australian also won a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and another Grand Slam at Wimbledon.

Emma Raducanu stayed off WTA Finals to recover from an injury she picked at the US Open.

Doubles team of the year was Barbora Krejcikov and Katerina Siniakova, who won Olympic gold and their third Grand Slam victory together at Roland Garros this year.

Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain was voted comeback player of the year, while Czech Republic’s Maja Krejcikova was named the most improved player of the year.

After being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in September 2020, Suarez Navarro announced her retirement from tennis in April, saying she had recovered and would participate at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

She was among tennis stars nominated for the Player of the Year award together with Naomi Osaka and Barty. The 18-year-old made a show at Flushing Meadows during her final match against Fernandes. She made history by becoming the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam.

Her game was on another level. She did not drop even a single set. Although no more wins from her after the US Open she made history and is already in the limelight.

Raducanu was as subject of debate after Indian Wells where she failed to shine like in New York. Then, there was the Transylvanian Open in Romania where she made a great start but failed to get to the semis.

And while all this happened, the clarion call was “get a coach”. Raducanu had no coach since her New York victory. Talks of her coach began after her 6-2 6-4 loss to Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the Indian Wells 2021. She walked off in the second round after a gallant defeat.

Torben Beltz

Torben Beltz is Emma Raducanu’s new coach. Photo/WTA Tennis

Her former coach Mark Petchey coached Raducanu between July to December 2020 and March to April 2021. Their arrangement was temporary and ended way back before she shook the world at Flushing Meadows.

Then, Andrew Richardson took over and left after the teen won her first Grand Slam. A few weeks back after the ATP Finals knockout, she finally picked Torben Beltz. Beltz is Angelique Kerber’s former coach.

She did this to get ready for the 2022 season starting with the Australian Open.

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