Tim Henman: “My advice to Emma is to ignore other people’s thoughts” | Emma Raducanu

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THEOver a month ago, when Emma Raducanu tore up a US Open draw and won the still incredible Grand Slam title, the story unfolded and everyone who had a better place than Tim Henman were few in number.

He arrived in New York City as an Amazon Prime expert, and uncertainties hung over whether the event would resonate with the general public in the absence of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams. Instead, between the endless stream of close matches in the two singles tables and the way Raducanu won the tournament, he was very happy: “This is the best Grand Slam I have ever seen. I did it, ”he says.

He sat on the pitch as Raducanu walked through the tournament, so he played a bigger role than expected in the event.

As he left the courtroom, Raducanu relied on his advice enough to joke that he actually became part of his team as the two weeks progressed. In court, she frequently made eye contact with him and used his energy to inspire him.

Henman made no secret of his emotions, and one of the final photos is now endlessly memorable, pointing to him at the age of 18, who fell to the ground in joy.

According to Henman, he met Raducanu from time to time before and after the UK game, but their relationship was only established in New York through his friendship with his US Open coach Andrew Richardson. Henman grew up playing with Richardson on the ATP Challenge Tour and was Henman’s best man.

“I was always there to talk to Andrew and Emma,” he says. “And if I could help, that was great. I was there to do a job on TV, but when you brought up this action, I could support it as well. “

Emma Raducanu has a US Open trophy. She passed qualifying and won the tournament without losing the set. Photo: ZUMA / PA image

He was also part of the post-final celebration as Raducanu and his team returned to the hotel after a lengthy media mission. They were placed in a large room where they ate, drank and talked at night.

“It was a lot of fun remembering the past two weeks, but I also got to look back on the whole trip since Andrew and Emma started in San Jose, the tournaments they’ve played, the games she’s played. experiences and challenges. She had it, ”says Henman. “It was a lot of fun and it was a night that I always remember.”

In many ways, it was a reminder of his own abilities and his success. Henman is often challenged in connection with what he has not achieved in the past 14 years since his retirement. He couldn’t reach the Grand Slam final, it wasn’t Andy Murray. But Henman had a great career on his own. Six Grand Slam semi-finals and four of the top ranked careers in brutal individual sports where most people can only dream of such achievements.

He reached the last major semi-final in 2004, but the respect his career has received from British players speaks volumes about how difficult it is to get there.

“Looking back on my career and what I have accomplished, I hope I have been a role model and an inspiration to the younger generation,” he says. “It’s also part of breaking down barriers according to young players.” Well, if he can do it with hard work, there’s no reason I can’t do it. “

Since the US Open, Raducanu has parted ways with Richardson. She is helped by Jeremy Bates in Indian Wells. Richardson is no longer part of his career, but Henman shrugs his shoulders and says his decision to coach is his privilege. He has had three coaches in his 15-year career, but understands that others prefer to change more often.

“She doesn’t have a coach at the moment. Every time the competitive tennis year is over there is plenty of time to have a coach at the end of the year, ”he says. “It probably gives him most of November and all of December to really think about it.” It’s important because there is so much going on in his world.

There’s certainly a lot going on in her world, and Indian Wells will stop it all and give her the first chance to continue growing in court. Henman stresses the importance of his family and those around him to help him progress and also to ignore any ambient noise.

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“My advice to her is definitely, ‘Don’t worry about other people’s thoughts. “There is still a huge amount of opinion in the world that she cannot control.

“If she focuses on what is under her control, she will continue to accomplish great things in the sport. “

Watch Indian Wells on Amazon Prime Video

Tim Henman: “My advice to Emma is to ignore other people’s thoughts” | Emma Raducanu

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