EMMA RADUCANU’S spectacular US Open win is ‘wrong’ for tennis, claims 2015 champ Flavia Pennetta.
The British teenager, 18, stunned the sporting world with her extraordinary run at Flushing Meadows.Emma Raducanu stormed to the US Open victory in September – with most people delighted for her[/caption] Italian Flavia Pannetta was less impressed and claimed it is ‘wrong’ for tennis[/caption]
But while most dub Raducanu’s glory her very own Fairytale of New York, Pennetta is less convinced.
The bitter Italian, 39, told Corriere della Sera: “I don’t like it. What is happening, this very strong discontinuity, in my opinion, is not good for tennis.
“In my time it could never have happened that a young girl played from qualifying, like Emma Raducanu in New York, to win a Grand Slam.
“Top athletes made too much difference.
“There is something wrong.
“Charisma is missing, so women’s tennis is more difficult to sell.”
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Pennetta was seeded 26th when she unexpectedly won the US Open.
She beat Serena Williams in the semi-final, ending the American legend’s quest to win all four Majors in the same calendar year.
Pennetta – who has just been nominated for the international tennis hall of fame – then saw off compatriot Roberta Vinci 7-6 6-2 in the final.
Raducanu, who won all ten matches in New York without dropping a set, will surely be undeterred by the comments, though.
As well as landing a £1.8million pay cheque, rocketing up through the world rankings and gaining an extra 2m Instagram followers, the Kent superstar has also signed sponsorship deals with Tiffany and now Dior.
She did suffer an early exit at Indian Wells before pulling out of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
But after a few weeks of training with coach Esteban Carril on a temporary trial basis, she will head to her father Ian’s homeland Romania for the Transylvania Open at the end of the month.