Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou believes Emma Raducanu is “on track” to win more Grand Slam titles despite a difficult start to the year.
Raducanu, 19, burst onto the scene last summer when she won the US Open without dropping a set, but she has struggled for wins since and her 2022 season has been disrupted by Covid-19 and injury issues.
She has a 2-4 win-loss record this year and was beaten in her second match at Indian Wells last week by Petra Martic.
“Everything happened so fast and overnight for Emma and I don’t feel as though she has the basis to be under so much pressure,” Mouratoglou told Sky Sports.
“She has a very good game and she’s a great athlete. She showed some mental strength that is quite incredible because what she has done at the US Open is something special.
“It is always special to win a Grand Slam, but the way she did it was really special and she showed that. But on the other hand, it happened so fast, like if you ask her ‘how did you do it?’ I’m sure she can’t answer that.
“When I say ‘how did you do it?’ what I mean is ‘what did you use for that?’, ‘what are your strengths and what are your weaknesses?’, ‘where are you solid in your game?’.
“Being under so much pressure is tough. I know how it is for everyone and when you’re not so sure about yourself, what you’ve done and how solid you are, this is really tough.
“I feel like she’s going through a really tough time but the way she handles it is great. She doesn’t show any weaknesses. She’s fighting and doing her best every day and she’s probably thinking ‘step-by-step I’m going to build my tennis to be consistently playing at that level’ which she’s not able to do right now.”
World No.13 Raducanu is set to play the Miami Open for the first time this week.
She will face either Katerina Siniakova or a qualifier in her opening match, and then could be in line to meet former world No.1 Simona Halep in the round of 32.
Raducanu is also set to play for Great Britain in the Billie Jean King Cup tie against the Czech Republic next month.
Mouratoglou thinks consistency is key for the 19-year-old after her third-round loss at Indian Wells.
“I think her game is good, but I think she was not very consistent. She played a very good first set, super solid, very aggressive and she has a very good game, but she was not able to sustain it.
“It’s not enough if she wants to maintain that level. She cannot win those matches, but I think she’s on the right track.
“She has a good team and you can see that she’s putting in the work. You guys will have to be very patient with her because if she’s exposed to too much pressure, it’s going to hurt her and that might impact her career.”
“I think she can win more Grand Slams but I think it’s very early to win some others for her because she played without any pressure and suddenly all the pressure came on her so she’s not the same player as she was months before the US Open.
“When you’re under pressure your weaknesses show so she’s not ready for that now, that’s what I think. Will she be in the future? I think so.
“If she’s able the maintain the mindset she has at the moment with the work she’s putting in, I think she has the game, the physical ability and the mental strength to do it in the future.”