'The younger generation has taken over' - Boris Becker hails 'Dame Emma Raducanu' after her US Open triumph
"It's an open secret: she will become 'Dame Emma Raducanu' - imagine that; it doesn't get any better than that," tennis legend Boris Becker told Eurosport Germany. "Then there will be a Sir Andy Murray and a Dame Emma Raducanu - wow! I think the generational change has happened. The younger generation has taken over now. Everyone has to prepare themselves: there's a new way of playing here!"
'She looked so comfortable in the biggest moments' - Wilander in awe of Raducanu
Emma Raducanu made history as she was crowned the 2021 US Open champion to become the first British woman to clinch a Grand Slam singles title for 44 years, and Eurosport's Boris Becker says, " the younger generation has taken over".
Raducanu, the first qualifier in the Open era to reach a Grand Slam final, was not remotely fazed by the big occasion and held her composure, despite late drama, to make history in becoming the first British woman to win the US Open singles title for 53 years.
The sheer improbability of the teenager's achievement in raising the trophy as a qualifier at Flushing Meadows was hard to grasp for everyone, and Becker told Eurosport Germany that she is already a superstar.
"What a supreme feeling: she got a personal letter from Queen Elizabeth. If that's not a tribute, I don't know what else there is to come," Becker told Eurosport. "Everyone here has noticed: we have a new superstar. But now it starts, now the dance starts.
"You have to follow up the performance, and the benchmark is impossibly high. She's not going to win every match for the rest of her life. She's going to play badly once in a while and she's going to lose once in a while. A whole new journey through time has begun. I just hope that the environment around her continues to protect her, reassure her and not forget the priorities.
"She is so popular because she won a tennis match and nothing else. The speech after her victory was as if she had done it a hundred times before. A politician couldn't express herself much better than this 18 year old. She did everything right, but now the real work starts.
"It's not always easy, and I speak from my own experience. You're still growing up, you make mistakes, you trust the wrong friends and so on. That may also happen to her, but I hope she will be well protected.
It's an open secret: she will become 'Dame Emma Raducanu' - imagine that; it doesn't get any better than that. Then there will be a Sir Andy Murray and a Dame Emma Raducanu - wow!
Emma Raducanu of Great Britain celebrates with the championship trophy after defeating Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada during their Women's Singles final match on Day Thirteen of the 2021 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Image credit: Getty Images
"I think the generational change has happened. The younger generation has taken over now. We just talked about the queen, Serena Williams, for a very long time, because it was just her. Only [Leylah] Fernandez and Raducanu deserve to be the centre of attention now, and that will continue for the next few weeks. The young guns bring everything the tennis fan wants.
People are talking about tennis again!
"If you want to be invited to the red carpet once in your life, it's this Met Gala! Everyone that matters in film, music, radio and television wants to go there. And now there was a gathering of tennis players! That surprised me in a happy way, because I say tennis is back in vogue! It is presentable again. People like to be seen with young, successful tennis players again. That wasn't the case for a while. We need this publicity. This is an unbelievably great development, and one that didn't exist for years.
"For me, Raducanu and Fernandez are playing a different type of tennis: it's a new, attacking form of tennis. The others can hardly keep up with that, because those two are getting better, and they're going to fine-tune that. This, 'I go into the rally and wait until the other one misses the ball' - I think that's over!
"They train differently, they are incredibly strong and have an incredible amount of power. They express that on the court as well. The established players have to get used to it, and in women's tennis everyone has to prepare themselves: there's a new way of playing here!"