Former champ claims Emma Raducanu 'will dominate the next decade'
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Emma Raducanu will attempt to become the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title in 44 years tonight. The 18-year-old rising star in British tennis faces fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in the US Open final. However, one former Grand Slam champion has told BBC Breakfast that “even if she does not win tonight, this is only the start of her career”.
Marion Bartoli, who won Wimbledon in 2013, told the BBC that Raducanu looks set to dominate the world of women’s tennis “for the next decade”.
She said: “We are witnessing I think the birth of a true superstar, who will dominate the next decade of women’s tennis.
“It is so cool for you guys in Britain because you have been waiting for that for a long time.
“I’m really thrilled that it is happening.”
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The French former tennis player continued: “You can see the improvement from her, it’s so quick. She is such a fast learner.
“She has something else inside her, this belief that she can pass any hurdle. Only very few sportspeople can think that way.
“She is made for history. She is built for this. Even if she doesn’t win this one, she will win one very quickly after that.
“I’m so excited to see her play for the next decade because I love her game.
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“It’s not going to stop after this final, it’s really just the start.
“No matter what happens, it’s only the start for both of them. It won’t be the last time they play a Grand Slam final.”
Tonight’s match marks the first Grand Slam final between teenagers since the 1999 US Open when Serena Williams beat Martina Hingis.
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Raducanu had to win through three rounds of qualifying to even enter the US Open, becoming the first qualifier to reach a major final.
18-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Navratilova told the BBC: “When you see that kind of talent, that won’t be denied.
“She is almost like the finished product when she is just getting started.”
However, her opponent, Fernandez, defeated world-beating players on her way to the final.
She took out defending champion Naomi Osaka, world number two Aryna Sabalenka and three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber.
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