25 May 2022

I have come a long way – Emma Raducanu upbeat after bowing out of French Open

25 May 2022

Emma Raducanu looked back on a positive clay-court season – and a whirlwind 12 months – after her second-round exit at the French Open.

British number one Raducanu ran out of steam as her Roland Garros dream was ended by world number 47 Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

But when the Kent teenager was reminded that a year ago this week she was playing in a British Tour event at the Connaught Club in Essex, a month after sitting her A-levels, her astonishing achievements – that improbable US Open title along with a fourth round at Wimbledon and second rounds here and in Australia – were certainly put into some perspective.

“Yeah, we were saying like with my team this morning, it’s pretty much a year anniversary since my comeback to competitive tennis. I was playing a Brit tour in Connaught,” Raducanu said.

Emma Raducanu stunned the world at the US Open (ZUMA/PA) (PA Media)

“I think I have come a long way since then and I do really welcome going around the second time.

“I think this year was always going to be challenging for me to adjust, find my feet. There’s always something new. Like I’m always asking where everything is – I have no idea where everything is.

“It’s going to be a lot more familiar this time around. I feel like in the last 12 months I have definitely grown a lot.

“I think that it has been a pretty positive year just because I have learnt so much, and I think the amount of learning that I have kind of done outweighs any sort of result.”

I think I have come a long way since then and I do really welcome going around the second time

The result that accounted for the 19-year-old in Paris, after a bright start, was a 3-6 6-1 6-1 defeat to Belarusian Sasnovich.

Nevertheless Raducanu can take plenty from the clay-court season, and a 6-5 win-loss record is not to be sniffed at given that she only played her first professional match on the surface last month.

“I thought that it was a pretty long match, pretty physical as well,” she said.

“I think my opponent played pretty well throughout and didn’t make any errors. It was a long match for me but the whole clay season has been pretty positive overall, I would say.”

Now Raducanu’s attention will turn full circle, back to the grass, Wimbledon – where her meteoric rise began – and returning to play in England as a current grand slam champion.

“It’s going to be really nice to go home and play on home turf, on the home grass,” she said.

“It is going to be a little bit strange in the beginning, because I have played on clay court for so long now, I feel like it’s been weeks.

“Like, going onto a grass court I’m probably going to be a bit shocked at first. But I’m really looking forward to playing in front of the fans at home, and just all the support.

“Last year I experienced a little taste of it, but I feel like this year might be a bit more. I’m just really looking forward to the atmosphere that’s going to be around.”

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