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Emma Raducanu has been compared to Serena and Venus Williams for her unprecedented rise. The 18-year-old went from being world No 338 to world No 23 in a matter of months, and became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam title at last month's US Open. The Williams sisters followed their own unique path as their father and coach did not put them into junior events like most of their counterparts.

Raducanu completed the seemingly impossible last month as she became the first-ever qualifier to win a Major title, while ranked down at a then-career high of world No 150.

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She was also the first woman to win the title on just her second appearance at Grand Slam level, and the US Open was her fourth-ever tour-level event after the WTA 250 in Birmingham, Wimbledon, and the WTA 250 in San Jose.

When she became the US Open champion, the 18-year-old had never even played a three-set match at tour level, or won a match on the WTA Tour.

Her unprecedented rise saw her go from world No 338, where she was ranked ahead of her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon earlier in the summer, into the world's top 25 following her title win in Flushing Meadows.

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Emma Raducanu's unprecedented rise has been likened to that of Serena and Venus Williams © Getty Emma Raducanu's unprecedented rise has been likened to that of Serena and Venus Williams

The Bromley local is now playing in just her second event since winning the US Open.

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Raducanu scored her first-ever WTA Tour match-win against Polona Hercog at the Transylvania Open on Tuesday (October 26), with the battle also becoming her first tour-level three-setter.

It shows just how unprecedented her antics in New York were, as the US Open champion continues to record career-first achievements while being ranked at No 23 in the world, and her unique rise to the top of the game has now been likened to that of Serena and Venus Williams.

During her third-round match against Romanian Ana Bogdan at the WTA 250 event, commentator and former British pro Sam Smith pointed out that Raducanu had played barely any tournaments, having turned pro in 2018 before taking an extended break when the pandemic hit in 2020.

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"Before she started playing after almost a year and half's competitive break off the tour in June, she'd only played 18 small professional events and nothing bigger than a $25,000 event which is tiny, not even a Challenger," the former world No 55 said.

"She played in 2018 seven, she played in 2019 eight, and just a couple at the start of 2020.

"I mean even that I can't believe. Most players before they even play a few Slams sort of play a good 30, 40 events just to get the ranking to get into a Slam. I mean I find it even more incredible when I was looking back, I mean she did win a couple of those but it's nothing."

Fellow commentator and former British No 1 Annabel Croft likened Raducanu's lack of pro-match experience to that of the Williams sisters, who did not play on the junior circuit and instead burst onto the pro tour, with Venus making the final of her first US Open in 1997 and Serena winning the US Open on her second-ever attempt in 1999.

Serena and Venus Williams did not spend their teenage years competing on the junior circuit, and went straight to the pro tour when they were old enou © Getty Serena and Venus Williams did not spend their teenage years competing on the junior circuit, and went straight to the pro tour when they were old enou

Speaking on Raducanu's rise, Croft said: "She sort of has memories of how Richard Williams brought his two Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, onto tour. Because they didn't really play junior tournaments, did they? And they did everything differently, not by the book.

"And it tears up what you're meant to do to bring on a professional tennis player."

The former world No 24 also commended Raducanu's parents for putting a focus on her studies - reminiscent of how Richard Williams wanted his daughters to have time away from tennis to still enjoy being children.

"And the fact that both parents were very keen that Emma finished her studies, and we all know she did so well in her A Levels with economics and maths and what have you," Croft added.

"Doing so well with her results. But I think when somebody is that technically sound and that good an athlete, and obviously very determined as well, has a very calm mentality. Nothing holds somebody who is what I'd call a 'class act' back."

Romanian tennis star Simona Halep has paid the ultimate compliment to Emma Raducanu .
The Romanian international has backed the Brit to become 'one of the best in the world'The 18-year-old star went from a complete WTA newbie, to one of the most talked about women on the planet in a matter of months.

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