John McEnroe's truth bomb for Emma Raducanu at French Open

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Pictured left to right, tennis legend John McEnroe and teenage British star Emma Raducanu.
Tennis legend John McEnroe is not convinced about Emma Raducanu's prospects going into the French Open. Pic: Getty

Tennis great John McEnroe has questioned whether Emma Raducanu has what it takes to go on a run at the French Open, following a series of injuries and high-profile splits with coaches.

The British teen gets her French Open campaign underway against Czech Linda Nosková on Monday night (AEST).

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Raducanu has failed to hit the lofty heights of her incredible US Open tile triumph in 2021, with the 19-year-old unable to settle on a long-term coach since the historic feat.

The 12th seed at Roland Garros has also been dogged by injuries in the lead-up to her French Open campaign.

Raducanu retired in Rome last week while trailing against Canadian Bianca Andreescu due to a recurring back issue.

She has also struggled with a hip complaint and suffered from blisters on her hands in a second round exit at the Australian Open earlier in the year.

"I'm learning about my body, but I'm very happy to be continuing my preparations for the French Open and to be able to play this tournament and fortunately I didn't have to miss this Grand Slam," Raducanu told reporters in Paris.

"That is definitely a really positive thing because I really look forward to these big moments and the big tournaments.

"After Rome, I definitely had to slow down, but this week I have been training and luckily being able to practise all of the shots.

"I'm looking forward to continuing that, and it feels good to be able to move freely and just like run around. It's quite fun. I have been preparing as normal the last few days."

Speaking about the Brit's prospects at Roland Garros, McEnroe suggested there were too many questions marks for him to consider Raducanu among the favourites in the women's draw.

Seen here, Emma Raducanu in practice ahead of her opening match at the 2022 French Open.
Emma Raducanu hits up in a practice session ahead of her opening match at the 2022 French Open. Pic: Getty

“I’m not sure where she is physically or mentally right now," he told Sportsmail.

"She obviously did something spectacular at the US Open and you try to, in some ways, replicate what she was feeling at the time to allow her to play freely.

“That’s a lot harder now because the expectations are a lot higher so she has to find a group that can get her comfortable and allow her to train in a way that she understands and is good for her and be able to go on the court and feel some type of joy and happiness playing.

“That’s the trick, but there is no way to do that, or understand how to do that, unless you understand the person. That’s the job of a coach or people around her to get her to a place to do what she does best.”

Emma Raducanu fancies her prospects on clay

Raducanu split with her coach Torbin Beltz in April, meaning she’s on the hunt for a fourth coach in 12 months.

The US Open champion only made her professional clay-court debut in April, managing a straight-sets victory over Storm Sanders in Stuttgart, before quarter-final elimination to World No.1 Swiatek.

The 19-year-old Briton followed that up with a last-16 appearance in Madrid, where she was defeated by Anhelina Kalinina as she struggled with a back injury.

Despite her patchy form in her first full year on the WTA Tour, Raducanu suggested she has the credentials to succeed on clay.

"I could be a great clay-court player, like looking forward, long, medium-term, in a few years where I have definitely developed more robustness and I'm able to repeat the same shots over and over," she said.

"I think I have definitely come a long way and probably progressed faster than expected in the last few weeks and I really am enjoying the clay. I really believe that I can be good and faster than I thought it would be."

with agencies

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