Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker believes that Emma Raducanu’s wrist surgeries could put her career at risk - but thinks she is good enough to win more Grand Slam titles.
Ever since her 2021 triumph at the US Open, Raducanu has struggled to consistently reproduce her best form.
The new-found level of fame, fitness concerns, several different coaches and other factors have all been put forward as contributing factors in her difficulties on court, and she recently underwent surgery on her wrists and ankle in a bid to improve her long-term health.
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Becker had a similar experience in some ways, winning Grand Slams in his teenage years and then developing problems with his wrists.
While he came back to become an enduring and fierce competitor in the men’s game, the German believes Raducanu is not guaranteed the same return.
He told The Guardian: “The surgeries that she has had are, in my opinion, career-threatening.
“Having surgery on your playing wrist, and as a two-handed player, the other wrist – and then on your ankle – is tough to bear for a young woman.”
Becker believes that establishing herself early on the circuit may have caused others to raise their game against Raducanu.
“Tennis is a completely different game when you go into court and you have nothing to lose,” he added.
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“Anybody can play then. It’s a whole different sport when you become the hunted.”
Becker was reluctant to comment on the change to her support staff, explaining: “I’m not in her inner circle so I don’t know all the things that went off, although I’ve seen the coaching changes [Raducanu has had three new coaches since winning the US Open].
"But as a young woman, all of a sudden being on top of the mountain, you have to really dig in and find the resources and the team around you to guide you through the next 10 years.
“Its about mindset and talent, team, approach and circumstances. She’s not the first one who wasn’t able to do it. And she won’t be the last. But if she was good enough to win a Grand Slam once, she’s good enough to win one again.
“And yeah, there are a couple of people – but not many – who could help her. But, first of all, she has to be ready for it. Her parents have to be ready for it. And if that’s not the case, then nobody can help.”
Raducanu is facing several months out following surgery and will miss the upcoming French Open as well as Wimbledon.
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