Emma Raducanu has been urged to seek advice from WTA legend Maria Sharapova to help her adjust to the limelight quicker.
Raducanu’s star has risen considerably in the last twelve months since winning the US Open as a teenager, with endorsement deals rolling in but her tennis struggling for momentum.
Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli sees great similarities to how Maria Sharapova’s career began, and she has suggested her as a mentor for the Brit.
"For Emma, because she won so young, obviously with all the contracts and sponsorships she has signed, the pressure she has to face - I mean, I cannot start to imagine it,” Bartoli told Eurosport.
"It is so massive. It takes someone so special to handle it. She probably should maybe get some advice from Maria Sharapova, who has been able to do it. It took Maria a little bit of time before she got the second one (grand slam) but then she went on to five in total.
“You have to be kind with yourself. Give yourself a little bit of time. You just need to get those strong results every time, it might not be winning, but quarters, semis, maybe a final."
Emma Raducanu recently took issue with her critics suggesting she may struggle with the pressure of defending her US Open title, branding them ‘a joke.’
She is just about ready for her US hardcourt swing to begin, and she is especially looking forward to the path to the US Open going through the Citi Open in Washington, and she believes she is better equipped to deal with New York than she was this time last year.
“I’m thrilled that the Citi Open is bringing back its WTA tournament and I’m really excited to compete on the courts in DC for the first time,” Raducanu said.
“The past year has been an unforgettable time in my tennis career and I look forward to adding new memories in Washington this summer.
“I want to start my preparations on the hard courts. I think that Washington would be a great place to do that.
“Last year I played a lot of matches leading up…I just wanted to give myself a chance really.
“Going back to New York, it’s going to be cool because I have got a lot of experiences playing on big courts, playing with people in the stadium, playing with the spotlight on you.
“I don’t mind that. I mean, for me, everything is learning. I’m embracing every single moment that is thrown at me.”
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