Emma Raducanu is rapidly approaching the first anniversary of her greatest moment in tennis and that prospect presents a huge challenge for the British No 1.
Raducanu’s US Open win last September was one of the most remarkable triumphs in tennis history, as the teenager came through qualifying and won her first major title without dropping a set in ten matches.
That victory ensured Raducanu became an instant global superstar and also gave her a rankings boost that saw her rise into the top 20 of the WTA standings, with her current position at a lofty No 10.
Yet a challenging year for Raducanu has seen her struggle to match her performances in New York last year, with a second round exit at Wimbledon last month the latest setback for the 19-year-old.
Now she is preparing for a month that will test her to the full as not only does she have the pressure of trying to defend her US Open title in New York next month, but she is also defending over 2000 ranking points.
The tennis rankings system runs on a rolling 12-month treadmill and it means 2040 points will drop off Raducanu’s total before she strikes a ball in New York, with 2000 of those coming from her US Open win and 40 from her run in qualifying for that event.
Currently, Raducanu only has 2717 points, so losing 2040 of those will mean she drops to just 667 ranking points.
That total would leave her at No.96 in the world in the current rankings, but the position could be even more alarming for Raducanu by the end of August.
Raducanu is also defending ranking points from her run to the quarter-finals of the ITF $100,000 event in Pennsylvania in August 2021 and her progress to the final of the WTA125 event in Chicago a week later.
Those two impressive performances earned Raducanu another 123 ranking points that will also drop off her total next month, taking her down to No.120 on the current WTA standings.
Amid this pessimism, there could be an alternative narrative written by Raducanu in the next few weeks, as she is due to play in some high-profile events that will offer her a chance to claim some fresh ranking points.
She will make a debut appearance in the Citi Open in Washington, before playing in the Canadian and Cincinnati Masters events, where 1000 ranking points will be up for grabs in each.
That before she plays once again at the US Open and will aim to reclaim the 2000 ranking points she won there last September.
So the next month will be vital to Raducanu as she looks to justify her status as one of the rising stars of the game, and ensure her ranking slide is not as devastating as it could be.
The article Why Emma Raducanu could be facing a record breaking rankings drop next month appeared first on Tennis365.com.