- Emma Raducanu is very well placed to give advice to young sports stars
- Former US Open champion spoke about 16-year-old sensation Luke Littler
- She is preparing to play at Australian Open and faces Shelby Rogers first up
Emma Raducanu has urged Britain’s new darts star Luke Littler to take it easy and savour the moment after his surge to national fame earlier this month.
The world championship finalist exacted comparisons with Raducanu after emerging as a major new force as a teenager in his chosen profession, attracting a mass of publicity that will take some getting used to.
Raducanu was beginning her season on the other side of the world in New Zealand at the time, but even there did not escape the clamour surrounding 16 year-old Littler’s exploits at Alexandra Palace.
‘My friend just sent me a picture of the boy who was like 16, who made the final.
‘She was like, “I can’t believe this guy’s only 16 years old,’’’ said the former US Open champion, who is preparing for the start of the Australian Open.
Emma Raducanu offered up some advice to 16-year-old darts sensation Luke Littler
Littler finished second at the World Darts Championship, losing to Luke Humphries in the final
‘I would just say, “Keep your circle close, take time to actually enjoy it all, and don’t rush into the next thing straightaway.”
Raducanu managed a double training session on Friday, and will play her first round in Melbourne against American Shelby Rogers on either Monday or Tuesday.
Ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year, she said: ‘I think my level, to be honest, is just too good not to come through if I put consistent work together.’
‘Success to me in the long-term is to play a full season, to be healthy throughout, to be able to train consistent weeks.
‘I know my level is there, I just need to keep working on it to make it more consistent. Not thinking about, will I have to pull out from this one? Does that hurt?
‘I feel a lot lighter now than I did for a long time after US Open, like I’m not playing with a backpack of rocks, I feel pretty light and happy,’ she said.
Raducanu is preparing for the Australian Open after overcoming her injury nightmare
Raducanu will be hoping to improve her ranking after falling down due to injury absence
Of course, Raducanu is well placed to advise young sports prodigies about how to navigate shooting into public consciousness having won the US Open at 18.
Littler’s run to the World Darts Championships final, where he lost to Luke Humphries earlier in the month captured the nation’s attention.
No doubt companies will be lining up to sign him to endorse their products, in the same way many did with Raducanu.
He must now deal with the increased spotlight as his career is followed with great fascination.