18-year-old Emma Raducanu made headlines across the world after winning the US Open 2021 title. Moreover, her incredible run, starting as a qualifier and winning the final without dropping a set has opened new doors for the future of women’s tennis. But is the conversation ready to shift from Serena Williams to the next generation? Tennis legend Boris Becker believes it has already happened.
Due to the absence of Venus and Serena Williams at this year’s US Open, many believed that the event might suffer a viewership drop. However, Raducanu and 19-year-old runner-up Leylah Fernandez crafted a sensational story of their own. Along with that, the duo also cemented the first step into the next era of WTA.
Sep 11, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; (L-R) Leylah Fernandez of Canada and Emma Raducanu of Great Britain celebrate with the finalist and championship trophy (respectively) after their match in the women’s singles final on day thirteen of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Boris Becker on generational change from Serena Williams to Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez
Both teenagers are undeniably worthy of all the praise they have received over the past month. Becker, who knows a thing or two about winning a Grand Slam at an extremely young age talked about the new generation. Naturally, the six-time Grand Slam champion thinks that the WTA is not just Serena Williams anymore.
“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,” Becker said.
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 4, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. during her third round match against Danielle Rose Collins of the U.S. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Furthermore, the now-retired German added that only “Fernandez and Raducanu deserve to be the center of attention now.” He elaborated, “Only Fernandez and Raducanu deserve to be the center of attention now, and that will continue for the next few weeks. The young guns bring everything the tennis fan wants.”
Has Serena played against Raducanu or Fernandez?
So far, the 39-year-old American hasn’t faced either of the two teenagers on the WTA Tour. And it might be some time before we witness that exciting encounter.
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 29, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her first round match against Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Recovering from her injury, Serena hasn’t revealed when she will be back on the court. Hence, her meeting with Raducanu and Fernandez might have to wait till 2022. Although it would be a pleasant surprise if Serena returns at the Indian Wells tournament, it is unlikely to happen. If that happens, Fernandez might realize her dream of playing against the tennis queen.
Let’s see when Serena will finally meet the two new stars of women’s tennis. Will they be able to get past the 23-time Grand Slam champion?