Johanna Konta’s advice to Emma Raducanu, how she handled Wimbledon pressure and verdict on US Open winner’s training decisions


Johanna Konta has told Emma Raducanu to ‘keep doing it’ as Wimbledon finally gets underway.

Raducanu returns to SW19 as the US Open champion a year after bursting onto the tennis scene.

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All eyes will be on Raducanu when she enters center court on Monday

A lot has changed since the 19-year-old had to withdraw from her fourth-round match in 2021.

She is the number 10 seed and makes her center court debut on Monday when she takes on Alison Van Uytvanck.

Expectations for Raducanu will be huge after her exploits in New York last September as she performed in front of local audiences.

Former UK number one Konta knows what center court crowd pressure is like, reaching the semi-final in 2017.

“I think it’s different for everyone and everyone processes and digests it differently,” Konta told talkSPORT.com.

“I never really felt it as a pressure, it was always a huge positive to be able to play at home and in front of a home crowd.

Konta retired from professional tennis last year but knows a thing or two about playing Wimbledon

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Konta retired from professional tennis last year but knows a thing or two about playing Wimbledon

“To walk into one of our biggest stadiums, get it full, play all my games on center or court 1 and the majority of people there are cheering me on.

“For me to be able to be part of an entertainment process that gave people a memorable day that a lot of those people could talk about for the next decade or two.

“There’s not a lot of pressure in there, it’s more of an opportunity that you’re looking to seize and absorb and enjoy.”

When asked what advice she would give Raducanu before heading to Center Court, Konta added: “I would say she has to do her own thing and digest it the way it applies to her.

Raducanu goes to Wimbledon as the number 10 seed

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Raducanu goes to Wimbledon as the number 10 seed

“It’s so individual, there aren’t two players who have the same career or come out and play the same games. It’s really personal.

“What she’s shown is that she’s very aware of her own individuality and what works for her.

“I think it’s up to her to keep doing it.”

Raducanu and his team’s decision to part ways with a number of coaches over the past year has come under intense scrutiny.

Nigel Sears was her coach when she reached the fourth round of Wimbledon last year, before teaming up with Andrew Richardson.

It was always going to be a short-term move and the pair went their separate ways shortly after winning the US Open.

Raducanu sensationally won the US Open in September

AFP

Raducanu sensationally won the US Open in September

Torben Beltz was seen as a longer-term solution, but it only lasted five months and now she is without a recognized trainer.

Asked about his views on Raducanu’s coaching carousel, Konta said: “It’s a very personal choice and not one size fits all. It’s important that people have the opportunity to express their own individuality in terms of what works for their career.

“It’s not for me to pass judgment or even have an opinion on this, just because as a former player I know how much the outside world can judge your choices on your own individuality. regarding your own career.

“Quite frankly, unless you’re there, no one else has a clue.”

For Konta herself, it will be the first Wimbledon since she decided to hang up last December.

But she was looking forward to being able to enjoy the tournament as a fan.

She added: “No [it didn’t feel too weird]. I didn’t automatically think ‘oh, it’s Wimbledon’. I will be involved at Wimbledon in different ways.

“I’m going to be spending time there so it will be different not playing and being there as a general sports fan.

” I can not wait to be there. It’s Wimbledon, so that usually means good weather at home. So I’m excited.

Wimbledon 2022 is finally upon us

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Wimbledon 2022 is finally upon us

“I’m going to get involved in broadcasting and various bits and bobs and just being a bit of a tennis fan.

“I never really had to do that. When I was very young I grew up in Australia so I mostly watched the Australian Open.

“This is my first chance to get involved. My husband is English so he told me he wished he could have taken those two weeks off as he loved watching Wimbledon as a child.

“I’m going to get involved in this whole club now.”

Johanna Konta was speaking to talkSPORT to celebrate the launch of Abel & Cole’s home flexible plastics recycling service, the first in the UK.

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