The 2021 US Open put the spotlight on two very talented young ladies. Behind the scenes, Clara Tauson of Denmark is making her own strides towards Grand Slam glory.
The 2021 US Open no doubt shed the spotlight on Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez, particularly as it was an all-teen championship final, but there is a force to be reckoned with brewing up behind the scenes. Clara Tauson is a name that is known by many fans of tennis, but it won’t be long before the whole world comes to know who this talented young lady is.
Clara Tauson is an incredibly talented player who has escaped the limelight thanks to her fellow teen stars. Nevertheless, there are plenty of reasons to get behind the Danish youngster because she has the full package of a future Grand Slam winner, and here’s why.
Junior records and WTA titles
Early in her career, Clara Tauson was already making huge statements in the world of tennis, from becoming the Danish Junior Tennis Player of the Year in 2016 to winning the junior’s Australian Open final in 2019 by taking down the now US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez in straight sets. The following year, Tauson would break into the WTA Top 200 for the first time at 17 years of age.
Clara Tauson’s incredible track record showed no signs of slowing down when she began her first year as a senior (18 years and over) in 2021. The rising talent was deemed the ‘original Emma Raducanu’ by some, being compared to the US Open champion for producing a similar run to victory at the Lyon Open, winning her first WTA title as a qualifier and without dropping a set.
If that wasn’t enough of a great start to her senior career, Clara Tauson would go on to win her second WTA title later that year by claiming the Luxembourg Open, taking down 2017 French Open champion and third seed Jelena Ostapenko for an outstanding upset victory. One could not ask for a better start to their senior tennis career, that is, until Emma Raducanu came onto the scene…
Head-to-head with Emma Raducanu
It comes as no surprise that Emma Raducanu is the centre of the media’s attention after her epic run at the US Open, becoming Britain’s number one ranked player in the process. Not dropping a set throughout the entire Grand Slam in New York at just 18 years of age, Raducanu seemed to be in a league of her own, not even allowing the incredibly resilient Leylah Fernandez to take a set off of her.
The reality is, Clara Tauson has met Emma Raducanu on court several times, and actually has the lead in the head-to-head record, besting the Brit two out of three times. At the juniors French Open in 2018, Tauson took down Raducanu in straight sets with a convincing 6-2 6-1 in the round of 32. Raducanu would take the victory in their next meeting in her home country in the 2020 Sunderland semifinal, besting Tauson 6-4 6-2 to even up the rivalry.
The following year in 2021, Clara Tauson would once again take the lead in the head-to-head, defeating Emma Raducanu in a three-setter to win the Chicago Tennis Festival 125 with a thrilling score line of 6-1 2-6 6-4. With that, Tauson has taken the lead on her rivalry with Raducanu, and there’s no doubt the young Dane has an equal chance at Grand Slam victory in 2022 and beyond.
Strong performance against WTA’s best player
So, one must now ask the question, why was Clara Tauson who seemingly had the upper hand on Emma Raducanu in career statistics and head-to-head prior to the US Open unable to make the same impact at the New York major? The answer may well come down to the luck of the draw, and without taking anything away from Raducanu’s historic run to Grand Slam victory, it could be said that Tauson had a stroke of bad luck being put up against world number one Ash Barty in the second round.
Nevertheless, despite a slow start in the first set, Tauson had a resurgence in the second set to take Barty to a 5-all before losing the match 1-6 5-7, exiting the tournament with an astounding first performance against the WTA’s top-ranked player. Surprisingly, Ash Barty would later be knocked out of the US Open by Shelby Rogers in a third-set tie-break upset, opening up the question of whether the remaining teens may have had an easier route than Tauson.
Speculations aside, there’s no denying the junior career records and WTA titles that Clara Tauson has earned for herself, and we certainly have not seen the last of her. A career still early in the works and yielding consistent results, Tauson may well have what it takes to be a Grand Slam champion in the years to come!