Emma Raducanu: Who is Polona Hercog, the US Open winner's next opponent?

Emma Raducanu is taking on Polona Hercog at the Transylvania Open

Emma Raducanu is back in action this afternoon, taking to the court at the Transylvania Open in Cluj-Napoca.

The surprise US Open champion will be hoping to get back to winning ways after losing in the first round of Indian Wells and withdrawing from last week’s Kremlin Cup.

She has travelled to Romania without a coach, having parted ways with Andrew Richardson after her US Open victory.

Despite this, Raducanu has appeared confident of her chances at the Transylvania Open. As her father hails from Romania, she will be boosted by the support from the crowd.

A mouth-watering clash against Raducanu’s idol Simona Halep could be on the cards for the latter stages of the tournament, but she must first overcome first round opponent Polona Hercog.

GiveMeSport Women has an in-depth look at Raducanu’s next opponent.

Who is Polona Hercog?

Polona Hercog, born in Slovenia, took up tennis when she was just five years old.

She started playing the sport at a tennis school set up by Mima Jaušovec, a Slovenian player who won the French Open in 1977.

Hercog moved to Italy to train professionally aged 14. She made her debut on the WTA Tour a couple of years later at the Slovenia Open in 2007, before winning the French Open and Wimbledon junior doubles titles alongside Jessica Moore in 2008.

She was soon enjoying senior success, earning her first victory on the WTA Tour at the 2011 Swedish Open. Hercog managed to defend her title the following year.

Polona Hercog has won three WTA titles during her career

During this period, Hercog enjoyed a career-high in the WTA rankings, sitting 35th in the world in September 2011.

Hercog failed to capitalise on this purple patch, however, failing to win another WTA title until the Ladies Open Lugano in April 2019.

She has also struggled at Grand Slams, failing to progress past the third round at any of the four major tournaments. Hercog is currently ranked 123rd in the world.

Polona Hercog has never progressed past the third round of a Grand Slam

How will Emma Raducanu fare?

Ranked 23rd in the world, Raducanu should feel confident about beating Hercog, although the Slovenian will be a tough task.

Raducanu has also issued a plea for fans to be "patient" with her, while saying she does not feel any pressure.

"I don't think there is any pressure on me," she said. "I feel like everyone should just be a little patient with me.

"I feel like I am the same person. I still go out there, approaching the same as before.

"I am really enjoying my tennis right now. I feel it will be in a great place. In the long term, I know it will be up and down, the past few weeks I have learned a lot about myself."

The 18-year-old Raducanu became the first qualifier, male or female, to earn a Grand Slam title at this year’s US Open.

She also became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam title since Virginia Wade in 1977. Raducanu made history in style, not dropping a single set on her way to victory.

Emma Raducanu has asked fans to be "patient" with her News Now - Sport News