Emma Raducanu, problem with women’s tennis revealed by Marion Bartoli

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Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli believes women’s tennis players like Emma Raducanu are suffering from a lack of consistency in Grand Slams.

Although Iga Swiatek — the current No. 1 — and Aryna Sabalenka are battling it out at the top, Bartoli feels more players could raise their profiles with regular appearances at the major events.

It also doesn’t help that every tournament sees a number of new names come in which makes it hard to be invested in the players.

“I almost feel if you go into the street and say the names Steffi Graf and Monica Seles, they would be more known than some of the top ten current players,” Bartoli told Tennis 365. “It’s due to the fact that those past champions were there all the time and people could recognize the name going deep in every Grand Slam and you get familiar with the names.

“The WTA is suffering with new names coming in, which is great for stories like Emma Raducanu coming in from qualifying and winning the US Open. But then they disappear and another one is coming and you might not be able to follow that all the time. It’s going to be interesting to see if the girls who are now in the top ten are able to really establish themselves and to come out every single year and perform with consistency.

“That said, if Naomi Osaka is coming back, that name is really famous and she can get a lot of fans coming in and watching, as well as Angelique Kerber and [Caroline] Wozniacki. For the new generation, it is about building your profile by having consistent results. That’s what gives you the platform from the publicists and the press, but you need to have your results and that is the main criteria for someone to be famous.”

Raducanu notably won the US Open in 2021, but has suffered from inconsistency and injuries since.

She recently posted footage of herself back on a tennis court after undergoing triple surgery as she looks to live up to the heavy expectations set on her following her win in New York.

“It’s one thing to do it one time, which is already very difficult, but it is another thing to do it year after year after year,” Bartoli added of Raducanu. “I was in the top ten for six consecutive years in a row, so people started to know my name. You go from one tournament to another and this is how people follow you.

“If one year you are top ten and the second year you are 100 and the third year you are out of the top 100, then people forget about you. It’s all about consistency and once you stop improving, that’s when you can go backwards.

“… For Emma, it’s all about getting herself healthy again so she can do a full year. Since the US Open, she has had stop and go, stop and go. She plays one tournament and then she is on the sidelines for two months.

“If she gets her body right and has one full year, I feel she can go back to where she was when she was at the top of her game.”

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