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Raducanu “had no expectations” for the clay season and feels that “practice work is paying off”

Emma Raducanu lost at the second round in Paris but the 19-year-ikd she feels like her game is improving every week

Britain's Emma Raducanu in action during her second round match against Belarus' Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the French Open Britain’s Emma Raducanu in action during her second round match against Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the French Open Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

You might think that a second-round loss at a Major when you are the No 12 seed and a reigning Grand Slam champion is a strong disappointment. But for 19-year-old Emma Raducanu, it isn’t. The US Open winner remains focused more on the process rather than the result after being defeated by Aliaksandra Sasnovich 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 at Roland-Garros .

“Before, I would let the losses kind of affect me more so than I am right now. Now I just look at everything as a lesson, and I know exactly where I went wrong, where I can improve, where other people are better than me. I think that for the clay season, I had no expectations. I put myself in like four tournaments in a row, probably thinking I was going to lose first round in every single one, but I actually played a few matches in each. I think the best way to go about it for me is to just not think about any results”, said Raducanu during a press conference on Wednesday.

Since she won the 2021 US Open in September, Raducanu has played 13 tournaments, winning 10 matches in them. One of those losses had come to Sasnovich itself, who defeated Raducanu in her first tournament after her US Open run at Indian Wells.

Raducanu continued: “I’m quite happy with the progress that I’m making. I do feel like I’m playing some pretty good tennis and on the practice court I’m definitely working. Certain things I’m working on the practice court that are paying off, they don’t show immediately. There is a little time lag between when they will actually produce results, in a live situation. To be honest, I am learning every single day, every single match, every practice. I’m at this level, but there are definitely aspects of my game that need to improve and kind of catch up to where my current, ranking or whatever is (world No 12, editor’s note).”

Still got quite a long way to go on this surface, but overall, I definitely had a good first experience on the clay: Raducanu

Raducanu admitted she still has a long way to go on the surface but added that she had a good experience in her first full season on clay.

“I think that I definitely got stronger as the clay season went on. It just takes a lot more to win the point on this surface, and, you hit a ball flat, doesn’t really do that much. I definitely learnt like when to use the shape and stuff. I still got quite a long way to go on this surface, but overall, I would say I definitely had a good first experience on the clay”, she added.

The Brit won six matches on clay in 2022, one in the Billie Jean King Cup, two in Stuttgart, two in Madrid, one in Roland-Garros, losing to Marketa Vondrousova, Iga Swiatek, Anhelina Kalinina, Bianca Andreescu and Sasnovich.

And while there may have been doubts about her physical conditioning before Paris, Raducanu said she felt good physically after Wednesday’s match.

“I would say like physically I just got a little bit tired, just like normal, but nothing like out of the regular you will feel your legs playing a three-set match on clay. It is definitely positive that I’m coming out of this match feeling pretty good physically”.


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