Emma Raducanu’s movement compared to boxing icon Muhammad Ali ahead of US Open final

Naga Munchetty says she’s ‘so excited’ for Emma Raducanu

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Boris Becker has compared British tennis sensation Emma Raducanu to an all-time sporting great. The 18-year-old has embarked on a remarkable run at Flushing Meadows this past fortnight, becoming the first qualifier in US Open history to reach the final. Her clash with Canadian Leylah Fernandez, 19, will represent the first all-teenage final at a Grand Slam since 1999, and should she prevail, Raducanu will become the first British woman to capture a Slam since Virginia Wade in 1977. However, it isn’t a tennis player who the young star reminds Becker of.

Writing in his Mail Online column, Becker likened the movement of Raducanu to that of legendary boxer Muhammed Ali.

“Watching Emma Raducanu this week has brought to my mind what used to be said of Muhammed Ali: Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee.

“If there is one thing that has stood out above anything else, it is her movement. So free-flowing, it allows her to get into the right position to play the shot, and when she needs to she delivers the sting.

Becker said he could also relate to the task facing Raducanu, the German himself having famously won Wimbledon when aged just 17.

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However, he said there was no secret formula to handling a first Grand Slam final.

“My advice would be very limited, just let nature take its course,” said Becker, 53.

“When you are in your late teens you do not have the same doubts as you might when you are older – that was the way it was with me and it seems to be the case for her.

“Leylah Fernandez too, although I would make Raducanu slight favourite for this match.”

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Remarkably, the US Open represents only a second Grand Slam appearance for Raducanu, and yet she has stormed into the final without even dropping a set.

And Becker sees no reason why she can’t finish off the fairytale in style tonight.

“It is no fluke when you reel off so many wins. She has been in a different class from her opponents.

“She serves better (the second serve is particularly good), she moves better, takes the ball earlier. Emma has been on a different level from some very good players.

“When I won Wimbledon at a similar age I had a dream the night before that I was holding the trophy. I have no idea what is going to come into Emma’s head before her match, but what we have seen suggests to me that it can be the same outcome.”

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