No strain, Raducanu ready to have a swing at Australian Open | Tennis News

Emma Raducanu has struggled to stay up to sky-high expectations since profitable her maiden Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows final year however the Briton says she isn’t frightened about her poor type and can play with out strain at the Australian Open.

Raducanu, who faces American Sloane Stephens within the first spherical at Melbourne Park, grew to become the primary qualifier to win a Grand Slam within the Open period when she defeated Leylah Fernandez in New York final September.

But she struggled to get shut to that type in subsequent tournaments with a collection of early exits prompting criticism, whereas testing optimistic for COVID-19 at Christmas additionally impacted her preparations for the brand new season.

“I feel, because of the last few months I’ve had, maybe I haven’t played as much as I would have liked to and trained so much,” mentioned Raducanu, who’s ranked seventeenth in Melbourne.

“I feel like there’s actually no pressure on me. I’m just happy to be here and have a swing. I had to jump a few hurdles to play here, so (I) just want to go out there and have fun and enjoy on the court.”

The 19-year-old performed her first match of the year in Sydney final Tuesday and lost 6-0 6-1 to Kazakh Elena Rybakina, a defeat she put down to rustiness fairly than any lingering results of COVID-19.

“It was definitely a lack of practice,” she mentioned. “I think I played maybe six, seven, really not many hours at all.

“I wasn’t examined bodily in that match, the factors have been over so quick.

“It will be good to keep building and see. I’m currently feeling physically good.”

Raducanu has been handed a robust opening spherical draw towards 2017 U.S. Open winner Stephens, who’s ranked sixty fifth on the planet however has been as excessive as quantity three.

“I watched Sloane win the U.S. Open,” mentioned Raducanu.

“I hit with her last year actually. Great opponent. Obviously you don’t win a Grand Slam without being very capable.

“I believe it is going to be a robust match for certain. I’m going to go on the market and benefit from the match as a result of simply enjoying on this Grand Slam, I had to work so laborious to be right here.”


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