Eurosport experts Mats Wilander and Alex Corretja heaped praise on British duo Emma Raducanu and Dan Evans after the pair advanced to the second round at the 2021 US Open.
Raducanu, on her US Open debut after a breakthrough Wimbledon, beat Stefanie Vogele in straight sets after taking her seventh match point to win 6-2, 6-3.
The 18-year-old looked impressive against the Swiss, with her serve working particularly well on Court 17.
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And speaking in the Cube, Wilander believes the youngster could become a “top player”.
“When I see her play, I don’t see too many weaknesses,” said former world number one Wilander,
“Her serve is good, her backhand is good. On her forehand, you can see that is where she needs to improve.
“If she improves the forehand she is going to be a top player. She is composed, but at the same time was embracing the New York crowd.”
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Raducanu suffered a tough end to her debut Grand Slam as a medical issue forced her to withdraw from her fourth round match at Wimbledon.
However, Corretja theorised that the experience of a high pressure situation in front of a home crowd will only have helped her.
Despite a number of wobbles on match point, Raducanu eventually held her nerve against Vogele to set up a second round match with Zhang Shuai.
“I think the experience of playing in London will help with the experience of closing out matches,” explained Corretja.
“I think she had so much pressure in London that now being in New York she is probably enjoying it a little bit more and is more relaxed.
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“She has been playing so many matches and she has been in New York for so many days – you get used to the conditions.”
Evans, meanwhile, survived a spirited first round encounter with Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro.
The British number one will next face Marcos Giron, a player he has never lost to.
Corretja suggested that the second round match presents an excellent opportunity for the 31-year-old.
“Dan [Evans] is a very smart player,” the twice Grand Slam runner-up said. “I think it is a good chance for both of them.
‘Tactically we know he’s a wizard!’ – Wilander likes what he sees from Evans
“I think Dan plays with a different kind of game that bothers his opponent. Like Feliciano Lopez, when you play someone that mixes it up that much sometimes the players don’t know how to react.
“Physically he is strong, fast and can last long. Going into the third round would be good for him.”
Evans has never progressed beyond the third round at a Grand Slam.
The 24th seed has struggled this summer but his “wizard”-like tactical skills and fitness make him a particular danger in five set contests, according to Wilander.
The former Swedish star, who won the US Open in 1988, said of Evans: “He has lost momentum a little bit but I have always been an optimist.
“I think five sets helps someone like Dan Evans, it gives him time to figure out his opponent.
“He is extremely fit these days and tactically he is a wizard.”
Evans could face dangerous Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the third round should he beat America’s Giron.
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Source: Euro Sports