Skip to content

Emma Raducanu: Tennis great Martina Navratilova says Briton's US Open win has 'become a handicap'

Tennis great Martina Navratilova talks to Gigi Salmon about Emma Raducanu, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and the strength of the women's game; you can watch the Miami Open from Tuesday, plus over 80 tournaments a year, including the US Open, live on Sky Sports Tennis

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Martina Navratilova believes we'll see Emma Raducanu's talent again when she gets healthy and Andy Murray will retire on his own terms

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova says Emma Raducanu's US Open victory in 2021 has "become a handicap" because expectations in Britain are now "sky-high".

Raducanu, who burst onto the scene by reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2021, then embarked on a fairy-tale run in New York later that year to become the first player to claim Grand Slam glory as a qualifier - at the age of 18.

Victory at Flushing Meadows came in only her fourth professional tournament and she started her first full season on the WTA Tour in 2022.

The 21-year-old will be back in action on Tuesday at the Miami Open when she takes on China's Wang Xiyu in the first round, live on Sky Sports Tennis.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Take a look back at Emma Raducanu's incredible win at the 2021 US Open...

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Emma Raducanu revealed it's been 'humbling' losing matches ahead of Indian Wells where she reached the third round

After a succession of coaches and injuries, including eight months out after surgery on both wrists and ankle last year, she is back and making a fresh start in 2024.

Navratilova says it was a case of "good news, bad news" for Raducanu in the years since her phenomenal win at the US Open.

"It was amazing when she won but it's become a handicap because the expectations have gone sky-high," the nine-time Wimbledon champion told Sky Sports Tennis.

Also See:

"It wasn't a fluke because Emma has got that level. It wasn't just she played great tennis and then all of a sudden she can't play, but the pressure that's been on her since then - particularly being a Brit - you can't get away from it.

"It's a big burden to carry, but hopefully she'll get back to it and most of all she needs to get healthy and stay healthy - and, that way, you can build on that.

"It's hard to build any confidence and momentum from winning because you don't stay healthy enough to win. It's a nasty Catch 22 where you can win with confidence but you can't have confidence without winning.

"Hopefully she'll get healthy and stay healthy so we'll see her talent again."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Sky Sports' Laura Robson and Tim Henman were hugely impressed by Raducanu's first-round win over Rebeka Masarova at Indian Wells

'It's hard for Murray to keep getting motivated for mediocrity'

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Andy Murray aired his frustration with journalists asking him about how long he has left in tennis, feeling he's saying the same answers over and over again

Andy Murray recently vented his frustration after saying "no one" is listening to him after revealing it was likely he would end his decorated tennis career this summer.

Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion and former No 1-ranked player, announced in Dubai that he would like to hang up his racket after the Paris Olympics this summer.

"It's exhausting to have to deal with the press like that for Andy," said 18-time major champion Navratilova. "I was asked since I was about 25 years old, how much longer are you going to play? Finally, I said 'I'll let you know when I'm going to retire' and so in 1993 I said the next year will be my last year, but I wish I hadn't done that because every tournament was a massive goodbye and it was exhausting.

"They'd give you a key to the city or a picture, but it was exhausting. I got a Harley-Davidson in the end - thank you Virginia Slims. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't tell the press.

"I think Andy is doing the right thing not telling them, whether he knows it or not. It's easier not to tell anyone if you don't know what you're going to do but it's frustrating when you're not winning when you're used to winning.

"He's putting in all the work, all the knowledge, but the results are not there for whatever reason then you can't enjoy it as much and it's hard to keep getting motivated for mediocrity. Andy is not mediocre and you feel you are mediocre when you're ranked 40 or 50.

"When you feel like you can't win the big one anymore when you've already won the big one, then it gets too frustrating after a while. But Andy will retire on his own terms - there is no right or wrong way to do it."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Murray was beaten in straight sets by Andrey Rublev as he exited Indian Wells in the round of 32

Is Djokovic showing signs of vulnerability?

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Laura Robson and Tim Henman talk about Novak Djokovic's decision not to play at this year's Miami Open

Novak Djokovic pulled out of next week's Miami Open to balance his "private and professional schedule", with the 24-time Grand Slam champion suffering a shock defeat to world No 123 Luca Nardi at Indian Wells, having lost to Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

Navratilova said: "Sinner played a flawless match in Australia and that's what it takes to beat someone as good as Novak Djokovic. And also after that Novak took six weeks off, and it's great that he can take that kind of time off, but you have to be rusty a little bit.

"You're rested but you rusted so you need those matches to get back into the swing of things, and Novak ran into a guy who was really hot that day. What happens when you get older is the bad days are worse.

"You have to have it [doubt] no matter what. Even if you don't have it, the press reminds you.

"I wouldn't worry about it if you have Novak's mindset, and I'm sure he's not worried about it at all."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Highlights of lucky loser Luca Nardi's victory over five-time champion Djokovic at Indian Wells

'A great time in women's tennis'

Coco Gauff, Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina in Dubai
Image: Coco Gauff, Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina are tennis' newest 'Big Four'

Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, Coco Gauff and Elena Rybakina are currently dominating the women's game but there are a whole host of players coming through.

Navratilova believes the game is still "evolving" and expects a number of youngsters to come through over the course of the season.

"I still feel the game is evolving and we'll see some new faces but I think the chances are that No 1 at the end of the year will be either Swiatek or Sabalenka," the former world No 1 said.

"I don't know if anyone can overtake them, but Gauff is definitely nipping at their heels having won the US Open, and there are new players coming through so it's a great time in women's tennis. The game is in good shape."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Martina Navratilova says once Iga Swiatek gets going it's really hard to stop her, while Tim Henman described her as 'different class'

How to watch play on Sky Sports Tennis

The stars of tennis will appear on the new Sky Sports Tennis channel every day
Image: The stars of tennis will appear on the new Sky Sports Tennis channel every day

Sky Sports has confirmed a new home for tennis in the UK and Ireland, with Sky Sports Tennis on Sky and NOW, making tennis content available all day, every day for fans.

Sky Sports will broadcast more live tennis than anywhere else, bringing over 4,000 matches from more than 80 tournaments a year on the ATP and WTA Tours, as well as full coverage of the US Open, all exclusively live.

Non-Sky subscribers can stream live matches with a NOW Sports Day and Month Membership, via Sky Sports Tennis, Sky Sports Arena, and Sky Sports Mix channels.

For further access, fans will also be able to follow their favourite players and gain deeper insights from both Tours via Sky Sports News, the Sky Sports app, on and via Sky Sports social channels.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Find out all the ways to watch tennis on Sky Sports, including the US Open, ATP and WTA tours

Get Sky Sports on WhatsApp!

You can now start receiving messages and alerts for the latest breaking sports news, analysis, in-depth features and videos from our dedicated WhatsApp channel!

Find out more here

Watch the WTA and ATP Tours throughout 2024 on Sky Sports Tennis. Stream Sky Sports Tennis and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership. No contract, cancel anytime.

Around Sky