US Open champion Emma Raducanu ready to return to action at Indian Wells
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Emma Raducanu has vowed to cut herself some slack following her opening defeat in Indian Wells. The 18-year-old was playing her first match since her historic US Open victory but was defeated 6-2 6-4 by world No 100 Aliaksandra Sasnovich. While the new world No 21 is disappointed to lose, she admitted she was glad to use the defeat as a lesson.
Raducanu had not played a match since making history at the US Open almost a month ago.
The Bromley teenager became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam title when she went on a ten-match winning streak without dropping a set, en route to the trophy in Flushing Meadows.
She later took a wild card into Indian Wells and was given a blockbuster Friday night session slot for her highly-anticipated first match since winning the US Open.
The world No 21 faced Sasnovich in the second round, after receiving a first-round bye as one of the top seeds, and fell to the Belarusian in straight sets.
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After the match, Raducanu admitted that, while she had not placed any expectations on herself for the match, she was still not happy to lose.
“I mean, there’s going to be disappointment after any loss,” the 18-year-old admitted.
“I didn’t go in there putting any pressure on myself because in my mind I’m so inexperienced that all these, I’m just taking it all in.
“I mean, you’re going to have highs and you’re always going to have some lows where you’re disappointed with how you performed.”
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Crediting her opponent’s experience, the 18-year-old added: “Aliaksandra played an extremely great match. She has played; you could tell she’s more experienced than me. She went out there and executed her game plan better than I did. She, of course, deserved to win that.”
Although it was not the result the recent US Open champion would have hoped for, she was happy to learn from the loss and use it to gain experience, with Indian Wells just her fifth tour-level event.
“Yeah, I’m kind of glad that what happened today happened so I can learn and take it as a lesson. So going forward, yeah, I’ll just have more experienced banked,” she said.
Despite not feeling any pressure going into the match, Raducanu admitted she needed to go easier on herself after suffering defeat.
“I think it’s going to take me time to adjust really to what’s going on. I mean, I’m still so new to everything.
“Like the experiences that I’m going through right now, even though I might not feel 100% amazing right now, I know they’re for the greater good. For the bigger picture, I’ll be thanking this moment.”
“So, yeah, that’s the lesson I think, that you can easily get sucked into being so focused on the result and getting disappointed. I mean, I’m 18 years old. I need to cut myself some slack, so yeah.”
The young Brit has entered herself into a series of WTA events in Moscow, Transylvania and Linz for the rest of the season, but said she would take time to decide what to do next.
“I’ll probably discuss with a few people on my team and see what’s right for me, what the next decision is going to be,” she said.
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