Tennis Raducanu says string of recent losses can be ‘great step’ in development

Tennis Raducanu says string of recent losses can be ‘great step’ in development

Tennis

tennis Mattias Karen

Emma Raducanu has downplayed her poor results since her stunning US Open title, saying the recent struggles are all part of the learning curve and will make her a better player.

Raducanu has lost in the first round of three of her four WTA tournaments since her Grand Slam victory, including at the Sydney Tennis Classic last week. In fact, she only won a single game against Elena Rybakina in Sydney, losing 6-0, 6-1, after recently recovering from Covid-19.

That means there are massive question marks surrounding her form going into the Australian Open, where she faces a tough opening match against American Sloane Stephens on Tuesday.

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That won’t change the fact that the 19-year-old will face a massive amount of attention and scrutiny after becoming an unlikely star at Flushing Meadows.

Raducanu herself doesn’t seem too worried about her recent performances, though.

“I feel like this patch of maybe losing every single week, it’s a great step in my development,” Raducanu told the PA news agency.

“I think it’s going to make me a stronger and better player going forward because, if I keep being shown what’s wrong, then it’ll kick in and I’ll learn and become even better.”

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Raducanu became the first qualifier to win a major tournament when she stormed to the US Open title without dropping a set. That rocketed her into instant stardom and earned the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award as well as recognition from Queen Elizabeth II.

But the teenager is careful not to put too much pressure on herself after such a massive – and sudden – breakthrough.

“This year I just want to enjoy every time I go out on court and look back at the end of the year and see an upward trend,” she said. “I want to look back and be in a better position than I started even if I know there are going to be ups and downs.”

Raducanu will be making her debut in Melbourne as the No. 17 seed, and just being in the main draw is a source of satisfaction for the Brit.

“One of my goals last year was to try to make it into qualifying here so to be here in the main draw I think is a great achievement,” Raducanu said.

“There are still so many areas of my game that I need to develop. Playing these players who have been doing it for a long time or have more experience on the tour, they’re more used to this.

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