Raducanu ‘didn’t think she would play’ before best Indian Wells run

Emma Raducanu has revealed that she didn’t think she would be able to take to the court in Indian Wells before achieving a career-best run to the round-of-16. After falling to Iga Swatek 6-3 6-1, the Brit explained just how much her participation was in doubt after injuries and illness looked to thwart her campaign before it had even started.

Raducanu’s Indian Wells participation looked to be in doubt just a week ago, when the 20-year-old cancelled her practice session and pulled out of the Eisenhower Cup exhibition match with less than eight hours’ notice on Tuesday. A day later, she was seen with strapping on both of her wrists.

It appeared to be another injury setback for the Brit who has barely played this year – rolling her ankle in her first event of the season in Auckland to derail her Aussie Open prep, where she made the first round. She then pulled out of the recent ATX Open with tonsillitis, and has now revealed that she almost withdrew from Indian Wells too.

Explaining that her run to the round-of-16 had given her confidence, Raducanu confessed that she didn’t believe she would be able to even play. “I think especially because of where I was before this tournament, didn’t think I would even play, to be honest. But to have played and then won three rounds and beaten two amazing opponents, yeah, I’m very proud of myself,” she said after losing to Swiatek.

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And the former world No 10 was feeling good about her game after earning back-to-back top 20 wins and testing herself against the world No 1 for a second time. “Now it’s just about consistent work to physically get to where I want to be,” she continued.

Discussing her loss to Swiatek, she added: “Yeah, I saw a taste of the level where No 1 is at physically and how she is at the corners, repetitive, relentless. Yeah, I just couldn’t take that.” Raducanu also revealed that she and her team thought she would become one of the best athletes on tour after seeing her ability to perform at a high level with little preparation.

The current world No 77 was asked where she was currently at compared to the player she could be and responded: “I’d honestly say like 35 per cent.” Challenged on her answer, she smiled and added: “Yeah, like when I’m telling you I haven’t trained, like I haven’t trained.

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“Physically I feel like that’s going to be one of my biggest assets. My team has spoken about it. I think that I’m going to be, like, one of the best athletes on the tour, and that’s going to be a big part of my game.”

While she thought there was still a way to go until she reached her peak, Raducanu thought she was doing the right things and added: “Yeah, I would say there is a very long way to go, but I’m definitely starting the right work now.” The British No 1 will now head to the Miami Open where she has received a wildcard into the main draw, and reflected on her Indian Wells run following her exit.

“I think it’s been a good 10 days. Yeah, I haven’t trained particularly much before the tournament, but I feel like I’ll probably take a day to recover tomorrow physically, because since the tournament started, I have done a little bit of something every day,” she explained. “So just to reset a bit mentally and physically tomorrow, and then, yeah, take it from there.”

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