Emma Raducanu told she’ll ‘need to suffer’ as French Open title hopes played down

Robson announces retirement from tennis aged 28 after injury hell

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Emma Raducanu will need to put in the hard yards and work tirelessly in order to realise her full potential as she prepares to make her maiden appearance at the French Open on Monday, according to two-time Roland Garros runner-up and Warner Bros. Discovery expert Alex Corretja. Raducanu made her clay-court debut on the WTA Tour in Stuttgart last month and will be hoping to raise her game on the surface to another level in Paris over the next two weeks.

The British star has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence after winning last year’s US Open but is likely to face a major test at Roland Garros after experiencing mixed fortunes on clay in recent weeks. Corretja has warned that Raducanu will need to go through some difficult moments in order to lead an impressive campaign in France before insisting that it would be unfair to place too much pressure on her shoulders over the course of this year’s tournament.

“It’s obvious that if you win a Slam at that age, coming from qualifiers, you feel like: ‘Okay, maybe this is my real status now,'” Corretja told Express Sport when quizzed on Raducanu’s hopes of achieving French Open glory at the first time of asking.

“If she didn’t qualify at the US Open, or maybe lost in the second round of qualification, everything would have been different. The difference is not that big, so she needs to understand that whatever she does, she will need to suffer and she will need to get through difficult moments and she will need some more experience.

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“There are no regrets, there is nothing. I wish I would have won the US Open at 19 and then get through difficult moments. I think it’s just a blessing what has happened to her, it’s just great.

“She’s learning, she’s just learning. Putting too much pressure on her would be unfair and not logical. I think she needs to continue with her way.”

Raducanu will go up against qualifier Linda Noskova in the first round of the French Open to mark her debut at Roland Garros after being handed a favourable opener in Thursday’s draw. She pulled out from her recent Italian Open clash against Bianca Andreescu due to injury after needing off-court treatment in the second set but will be fit enough to compete in Paris over the next fortnight as things stand.

The 19-year-old remains without a full-time coach after parting ways with Torben Beltz back in April despite having worked under the German for a period of just five months. It remains to be seen whether this will damage her hopes of claiming the grand prize at Roland Garros, though, as she looks to add a second career Grand Slam title to her impressive record of achievement over the next fortnight.

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