After winning one of the toughest matches of her career against Camila Osorio (7-6, 7-6) at the Citi Open in Washington DC, Emma Raducanu was asked how close she feels from her peak 2021 US Open level, which she described as being “(close) to perfection during those matches”.
“There were times for sure that I was coming out with some outrageous shots”, responded Emma Raducanu about her 2021 US Open form while speaking at the press conference on Thursday.
“Sometimes in your career you feel like everything is automatic, you can go for whatever shot you want and it’s going to land. Those weeks don’t come by very often. You might have one or two a year. For me, I was lucky that I had three like pretty much when it really mattered”.
“Not always playing perfect tennis”
But the notion of “close to perfection” is not how Raducanu always remembers it, as the Brit won 10 matches in three weeks, qualifying included, to win the trophy.
“I wasn’t always playing perfect tennis. Like in my qualifying, I remember scrapping through some, my second-round qualifying match (against Bolkvadze), and in my fourth round, I remember I was so nervous in the first set and didn’t necessarily feel like I was playing great, but it’s definitely a lot about holding your nerve on those sort of matches in big courts”, she added.
“Getting yourself out of rock bottom, really, a lot of times repetitively, I think it’s a fun challenge”
“I think that’s something I did extremely well throughout the US Open, but I have just accepted like : ‘Look, I’m not going to feel like that every week’, but it’s more challenging and more fun when you come through a win like that and a win when you are not necessarily feeling great because you know that there is room to improve.”
Raducanu reflected that she did not expect to play such a high level of tennis every week and is even more accepting of that fact now: “To be honest, I don’t think I was expecting to play US Open tennis every single week, because I knew myself I was so zoned out that I was playing really, really well, some of my best tennis”.
“But I’d say even though maybe in the beginning of the year I was saying, Look, like, doesn’t matter, no pressure, I think that I didn’t necessarily buy into it as much as I probably do now. I think that it took me a while, but right now I most enjoy the challenge of continuously coming back and getting back up”, said the 19-year-old Raducanu.
“Getting yourself out of rock bottom, really, a lot of times repetitively, I think it’s a fun challenge and I think I have twisted my perception of it. I’m not viewing it as a negative thing anymore. I’m just seeing, okay, like the cards are not great right now, but what can I do to turn it around. Then the reward that you feel after a win, knowing that you have come through that, it means a lot more.”
Emma Raducanu, seed No2 in Washington, in the best ranked player remaining in the draw.