"She's taken her game to the next level": Tim Henman excited about Katie Boulter and Emma Raducanu ahead of Australian Open

Saturday, 13 January 2024 at 02:18
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Those on Brit watch won't just be following Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie at the Australian Open with a trio of talents in the draw and with a good chance believes Tim Henman in the returning Emma Raducanu, Katie Boulter and Jack Draper.
The latter two in particular have started their seasons superbly. Draper will play on Saturday in the Adelaide final, while for Boulter she picked up a career best win over Jessica Pegula in the United Cup showing how far she has come. But the talk of course will be on Raducanu going into Melbourne and Henman said her level in Auckland was 'excellent' and it is now about building momentum.
“With Raducanu it’s more steps,” said Henman about the 2021 US Open winner, who faces Shelby Rogers in the first round in Melbourne.
“I think when you take a step back and actually look at how little tennis she's played in her whole career, she's still massively inexperienced. But it was good to see her play two matches in Auckland. I thought her level was excellent.
“And again, it's more about the physical resilience, and can she build up the sort of confidence and the physicality in her body so that she can play week in, week out, and not have setbacks physically and not get those injuries? Because that just disrupts your momentum.
“Raducanu is a very good tennis player. She now is hopefully building that foundation to do herself justice so that she doesn't get injured.”  

Boulter and Draper taking the next step

While when it comes to Boulter, he sees her as taking her game to the next level and that she has overcome setbacks to become a stronger player with more opportunities than ever before.
“I think Boulter has really shown that she's taken her game to the next level,” said Henman.
“She played very well at the United Cup and got that first top-five win against Pegula. I see a lot of positive things for her in 2024. She's had a few setbacks in the past, but I really like the way she plays and she's got a big game. She's got weapons and I think she thrives on the big stage. So getting into these big tournaments now, there are a lot of opportunities for her.”
The same can be said for Draper as the old saying goes winning breeds confidence and after sealing titles and averting constant injury woes, he is out the other side hopefully ready to challenge the higher echelons as his talent dictates he can.
“I sort of feel like I've been saying Jack's name for quite some time and he's put in some great work at the end of last year,” he said.
“He had a lot of setbacks in 2023, but the training, the physical work he did and then the way that he played, winning a Challenger and making the final of a tour event right at the end of last year did wonders for his ranking and his confidence.
“He's made a good start in Adelaide and I think 2024 can be a really big year for him.”

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