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“Working things out as they go along”: Raducanu credits mental strength and Murray inspiration for second round win

The 19-year-old Brit followed compatriot Andy Murray on the court on Friday and also came out with her first win in Indian Wells

Emma Raducanu during her second round match at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Emma Raducanu during her second round match at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

WTA BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells 2022 | Results | Schedule

US Open champion Emma Raducanu followed in the footsteps of her illustrious compatriot Andy Murray, winning on Friday at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, and later said she was inspired by the former world No 1’s milestone win earlier in the day.

Raducanu started the second round match strong against former world No 4 Caroline Garcia, now ranked 66th, winning the first set 6-1 before the Frenchwoman bounced back to take the second set 6-3.

The Brit, who was 1-3 in 2022 coming into this match, regrouped herself and won the third set easily to complete the 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 win in one hour and 31 minutes.

“Andy is just such a great role model for me and everyone, from the UK, and also across the world”: Raducanu

Raducanu was playing the second match of the day on the Centre Court, immediately after Murray defeated Taro Daniel in three sets to record his milestone 700th career singles win. The Brit said the four-time Grand Slam winner’s three-set win inspired her after she lost the second set.

“It’s incredible. I think Andy is such a class player. The way he can put the ball in places that you just don’t want. I think that’s a real great skill to have. I definitely looked up to him today especially because I was following him. I knew he came through some tricky moments. I was thinking the same when I dropped the second set. I was like, You can do the same, just keep pushing. I think it was great to follow him in the order of play today.”

Raducanu recalled how Murray has always been supportive and what a fantastic role model he has become for people not just in the U.K., but from around the world.

“It’s always like a weird one when you’re following someone who has just won. You’re like, I really want to do the same. It kind of gives you the extra fuel. I was really happy for him. He gave me like a fist bump, it was really cool. He has been supportive, for sure. I know one time when I was just practicing, I managed to hit with him. I was so nervous. I was moving my feet so fast just to try and keep up. I think he’s just such a great role model for me and everyone, from the UK, and also across the world. 700 wins is something I can just dream of. I think I’ve won three now, so I have a long way to go (laughter).”

Still accumulating wins and experience on the WTA Tour, Raducanu said Friday’s win, just her second of the season, was special for her.

“Today’s match definitely meant a lot to me. It’s my second win of the year. I haven’t played so many. But I’ve just had these injuries and niggles. To come through in a big tournament, I think it definitely means a lot. I’m just really glad that at this level my level was good enough today.”

Once I settle in and go through all these highs and lows, I’ll find some sort of equilibrium.

Since winning the US Open as the 150th ranked qualifier, Raducanu has struggled to meet the expectations of fans and the tennis experts. But the 19-year-old says she is happy to build her game back after the setbacks and hopes to find some equilibrium in her results.

“I feel like that probably happened after the US Open. I think everyone just suddenly expected me to win everything, and clean up everything I played. But realistically before that, if you would have said to me last year, Emma, what is your goal for the year? I’d be like, Okay, I want to win one round in the main draw of a Grand Slam. I did that in Australia. That to me last year probably would have made my year, to be honest.”

“What might be a poor result now in people’s eyes to me would have been a positive thing. I think I need to keep reminding yourself of that, not getting sucked in. I feel like now people are starting to realize it’s going to take some time for her to settle in. I feel like patience is a big thing. Once I settle in and go through all these highs and lows, I’ll find some sort of equilibrium.”

Raducanu also credited her mental skills for helping her come through the win, saying she worked things out as they went along after dropping the middle set against Garcia.

“I feel like one of my skills is probably mental, working things out. I feel like today I worked out pretty well that I was taking pace off the ball, I was playing too much to one side or the middle in the second. I kind of reassessed. In the third set I picked my ball speed back up, I was spreading the play more. I think that’s probably one of my strengths, just working things out as they go along. “

Up next will be a stern test in the form of 31-year-old Petra Martic, an experienced pro on the tour who has been as high as No 14 in the world just a couple of years ago. The Croatian defeated French Open semi-finalist Tamara Zidansek 7-5, 7-6 in the second round on Friday to set up her first career meeting against Raducanu.

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