How teenage Grand Slam champions have fared after Emma Raducanu's stunning rise


Emma Raducanu shocked the tennis world by winning the US Open in September. Not only did she do it as an 18-year-old debutant in the competition, but she also made history by becoming the first qualifier ever to scoop a Grand Slam title.

Her stunning victory in New York propelled her from her status as a promising youngster after her surprise run to the second week of Wimbledon on her major debut, to a bona fide superstar of the game.

With that comes a weight of expectation, and she will have to deal with that as she looks to add to her trophy collection going forwards.

And that pressure will be especially high at the Grand Slams, though from now on she will no longer have the element of surprise – everyone on the WTA Tour knows how dangerous she can be when on form.

As incredible as Raducanu’s performances at Flushing Meadows were, she is not the first woman in the Open Era to achieve this sort of success at such a young age.

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She was the first Swiss player, male or female, to win a major title and become world number one, a few years before Roger Federer’s dominance of the ATP Tour began.

And that first title paved the way for a huge amount of success, scooping 76 title across singles and doubles events by the time she was just 22.

She had to spend three years away from the tour, though, undergoing a series of surgeries to deal with ankle ligament problems.

Hingis came back in 2006 and scooped a couple more titles, but in the end the injuries proved too much and she called it a day in November 2007.

Her career was far shorter than it should have been, but it was one which brought extraordinary success – something Raducanu will hope she can emulate.

Monica Seles

First competing under the Yugoslavian flag, Seles upset Steffi Graf at the 1990 French Open to win the competition, also aged 16.

Not only did she do that, but she capitalised on her success by absolutely dominating the Grand Slams in the early 1990s, winning her eighth major title at the 1993 Australian Open when she was still aged only 19.

Seles lost only one match out of 56 in Grand Slam tournaments during that time, and looked set to continue to dominate the tour for many years to come.

But she was the victim of a stabbing attack just a few months after that eighth major title, which took her out of the game for more than two years.

An obsessed fan of rival Steffi Graf buried a knife in her back in Hamburg, with the intention of stopping her from competing so the German player could return to being the world number one.

She returned to the tour in August 1995, now representing the US, and won the Australian Open in 1996.

But that would be her last major title, though she did consistent go deep into those tournaments.

Seles didn’t play an official tour match after being knocked out of the French Open in the first round in 2003, but did not announce her retirement until five years later.

Serena Williams

The most successful female tennis player of the Open Era needs little introduction.

The first of Williams’ 23 Grand Slam titles came just two weeks before her 18th birthday, at the 1999 US Open.

She beat the dominant Hingis to do so, though it was the Swiss who would continue to dominate in the early stages of the new millennium.

Serena is an ideal example to Raducanu that you don’t need to immediately capitalise on your first major title, and can be patient to wait for the second to come.

Williams didn’t win her second Grand Slam title until three years after her first, but then kicked on to become the dominant force on the women’s tour, along with sister Venus, for many years.

She is still competing, aged 40, but has fallen to 41st in the world after withdrawing from Wimbledon and missing the US Open through injury.

If Raducanu achieves a third of what Williams has in her career, she will have done incredibly well.



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