The Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez Update

AP/ Seth Wenig, file

The Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez Update

It has been a few months now since Leylah Fernandez and Emma Raducanu disputed the US Open Final. It almost seems like ages ago.

Back then, there was talk about disruption and chaos in the women’s game and the two teenage sensations were an example of that. The way they dismantled the top of women’s tennis on their way to the finals was a sight to behold. During those two weeks, I was also a convert. I was sure that their meteoritic rise would continue their trajectory. How could it not? If one watched any of those matches, nobody was able to handle the power and athleticism of both these youngsters.

Six months later, a different story is beginning to unfold. The disruption was temporary. The women’s tour corrected itself, first with Garbine Muguruza capturing the WTA Finals, and then with Barty impressively capturing her first Australian Open and third overall Grand Slam. The tennis world is not talking about Raducanu and Fernandez anymore. And it doesn’t seem like they will be anytime soon.

It was expected for both these players to have hangovers after such a successful run. However, we’re now six months into 2022, and there have been absolutely no runs in any of the tournaments that they have entered. Raducanu routinely lost in the early rounds of every tournament she entered, even going down to a few players outside of the top 100. Fernandez didn’t fare any better, losing to a qualifier ranked outside the top 100 at the Australian Open.

Will they recover?

Absolutely. One of the keys to their success in 2022 is the fact that their US Open runs provided them with a massive rankings boost. Raducanu and Fernandez sit at number 12 and 19 in the world respectively. They will be a high seed in any small tournament they enter and a decent seed at major tournaments. They won’t have to worry about qualifying into any WTA tournament this year.

Main draw entry takes the pressure off a little bit and allows them to get more experience in main draw events. You have to imagine that with the kind of talent that these youngsters have, and if given enough chances at main draws, they will make a few runs. The question is when, not if. I would wager on these two making noise in the hard-court swing of the summer. Don’t expect much in the clay-court swing.

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