Emma Raducanu - Australian Open 2023

Emma Raducanu claims her level ‘is too good not to come through’

Emma Raducanu has spoken to the media ahead of the Australian Open, with the Brit revealing that she ‘feels a lot lighter’ ahead of her Grand Slam comeback.

Raducanu spent eight months on the injury sidelines, after undergoing surgeries to both wrists and her left ankle, before returning last week at the Auckland Classic.

It was in the WTA 250 tournament last week where Raducanu beat her good friend Elena Gabriela Ruse, before battling to a three set defeat to eventual runner-up Elina Svitolina.

And the 21-year-old has spoken about her shift in mindset now, compared to after she won the US Open, “I feel a lot lighter now than I did for a long time after the US Open. I feel like I’m not playing with a backpack of rocks. I feel pretty light and happy.

“Reflecting on the past, I think people are very important, like the people who I surround myself with, maybe sometimes even more so. I think surrounding yourself with competent and knowledgeable people is of course really important, but also the type of person and their character is big-time, just making sure we really get on and intentions are really good.”

During her time away from the WTA Tour, Raducanu announced that she would be going separate ways with her coach Sebastian Sachs due to the ‘unfortunate circumstances’.

Raducanu is now working with childhood coach Nick Cavaday, who is present alongside the former world No.10 in Melbourne.

The now ranked No.299 revealed that they’re ‘taking it how it goes’, “In the off-season, when I was in the UK training, I started in October retraining because I had a bit of a setback and started with rehab, then fitness in the month of November, then kind of started hitting again late November, December.”

She continued, “Being in the NTC [National Tennis Centre], of course I was working alongside the LTA [Lawn Tennis Association], who helped me big-time. They did a lot for me in the gym and also physio, tennis. Then Nick was also around. I asked him, because he coached me when I was between 10 and 12. He was there. Yeah, it’s just been working like that.

“We’re just taking it how it goes. It’s been working really well so far. I of course hope to continue with him because I feel very comfortable with him. I know his sister (Naomi) really well because, like, everyone is from Bromley. It’s pretty good.”

Raducanu then went onto speak about what success would be for her this season, “I think success to me in the long-term is, for the rest of the year, to play a full season, to be healthy throughout, to be able to train consistent weeks. I know my level is there, I just need to keep working on it to make it more consistent.

“I think that will come with time in the gym, time on court, being able to play the calendar, not thinking about ‘Will I have to pull out from this one? Does that hurt?’ Just being able to go consistently throughout the year. I think my level, to be honest, is just too good not to come through if I put consistent work together.”

The 2021 US Open champion concluded, “Physically I feel good. I did a lot of good work in the off-season. But I think that regardless of how good I may feel on the court on a particular day or in practice, I think to get that level of consistency is going to require more time. So, yeah, I’ve been doing the right work, doing it consistently. I just need to keep going like more and more. But I feel good on court and in the gym.”

Raducanu will begin her Australian Open campaign against American Shelby Rogers, who she beat en route to the US Open title, on either Monday or Tuesday.

Inside the baseline…

It is great to see Emma Raducanu appearing to enjoy the sport once again, as it was understandably difficult to settle after the whirlwind of winning the US Open. Without being disrespectful, Raducanu will likely be pleased with her first round draw, as Shelby Rogers has not played since Wimbledon and is in somewhat of a similar position to the Brit.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.