Emma Raducanu recalls her on-court experience at Wimbledon
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Emma Raducanu is aiming to keep herself in the US Open for “as long as possible” after a stunning first-round victory over Stefanie Voegele on Tuesday, August 31. The 18-year-old admitted she isn’t feeling any pressure in New York, following her breakthrough at Wimbledon less than two months ago. The Brit made it all the way to the round of 16 on her Grand Slam debut, and backed up the run by qualifying for her second successive Major in New York.
Raducanu is enjoying an impressive summer, having already made the second week of Wimbledon in her Grand Slam debut, as well as her maiden WTA Tour-level final in the Chicago Challenger.
The 18-year-old became the talk of the tennis world as she stormed to the round of 16 at the All England Club after receiving a wildcard into the tournament, and has continued to prove herself by coming through qualifying to make her second successive main draw at a Major.
She got off to a flying start at the US Open on Tuesday, sealing a 6-2 6-3 victory over lucky loser Stefanie Voegele, and will now meet Zhang Shuai, her recent conqueror in San Jose, in the second round.
Although Raducanu is now firmly on the radar of her opponents, the teenager still says she’s not feeling any pressure in her second Major tournament.
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After coming through three rounds of qualifying, the world No 150 was drawn against 13th seed and this year’s Australian Open runner-up Jennifer Brady.
However, Raducanu’s chances were boosted when the American withdrew from the tournament with injury, and she was instead placed against lucky loser and world No 128 Voegele.
The Bromley teen dispatched of her Swiss opponent in just 78 minutes, and will now face Zhang for the second time during this North American hard court season.
The pair met in the first round of the WTA 250 event in San Jose last month, in what was Raducanu’s first tour-level event outside of the UK.
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Although she suffered a 6-3 6-2 defeat at the hands of the world No 49 in San Jose, Raducanu is feeling confident ahead of their round of 64 clash in Flushing Meadows.
“I have played four matches at the US Open and I’m feeling very comfortable here in the conditions, I feel I have acclimatised well due to the few weeks I have had in the States,” she said, according to Sky Sports.
“I don’t think you can compare any two tournaments because there are so many different variables but I’m enjoying my time here.”
The 18-year-old also revealed that Zhang is a familiar face for her on the tour, as the pair often speak when they see each other.
Raducanu said she gets on well with the Chinese player, with the pair often using Mandarin to chat.
Despite suffering a loss at the hands of Zhang, the teenager said she had learned a lot from their first match and had developed her game since, making the Chicago final and coming through qualifying.
The young British sensation also said she was still living in the moment and enjoying all of her new experiences despite making more of a name for herself in recent months.
“I feel like I am absorbing it all, so I don’t feel any pressure. It is all a free swing and bonus for me because I don’t have anything to lose,” she added, setting her sights on staying in the tournament for as long as she could.
“Still everything is so new to me and I just love New York, the buzz and everything. Walking around the city, it is such an amazing experience. I am just enjoying it and I want to stay here as long as possible so I will keep fighting.”
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