Emma Raducanu has stressed that she is still an inexperienced player on the WTA Tour and rejected claims that her and Iga Swiatek are similar.
Swiatek, who is the new world number one, beat Raducanu in straight-sets in the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (also known as the Stuttgart Open). However, the Brit did receive praise from fans online for her efforts.
At 20 years of age, Swiatek is just a year older than Raducanu and some have compared her memorable French Open win in 2020 to the British teenager’s historic victory at the US Open last year.
Indeed, Swiatek stormed to victory at Roland-Garros without dropping a set, and was just 18 years old at the time –– the same age as Raducanu when she won in New York.
Raducanu dismisses Swiatek comparisons
However, Raducanu has rejected any comparisons with the world number one and emphasised that the Polish star was already an established player on the WTA Tour when she claimed her first major title.
Speaking to Eurosport, Raducanu was asked if her maiden Grand Slam victory mirrored that of Swiatek’s, to which she responded: “I wouldn’t say so. Iga [Swiatek] had been playing on the tour a lot longer, whether that was the WTA tour or the ITF tour –– she had a lot more experience in matches.
“Whereas I was in exam halls until last summer, so I’d never really played in competitions. For me, this is my first full year playing tournaments in back-to-back weeks, so it’s all a learning curve for me.
“But of course, we’re both young and hopefully we’ll be playing again in the future.”
Raducanu pleased with progress
The Stuttgart Open was Raducanu’s first-ever professional tournament on clay and the teenager is pleased with the progress she’s making.
Dominant victories over Storm Sanders and Tamara Korpatsch indicated that clay may well be a surface the Brit can thrive on. But right now, the focus is all on training and making steady gains.
“Of course, it helps to win the matches,” she said. “But I feel like recently I’ve just really put my head down and [can] see the improvements I’ve been making. I’ve been practising really well so I’m happy with my current situation and how I’m approaching tennis right now.”
Despite being a major champion, Raducanu says she feels “no pressure” at the moment, given her inexperience on clay.
The French Open starts next month and the Brit is likely to be seeded in the top 10 of the main draw.
While it will be Swiatek who starts as the overwhelming favourite, Raducanu will now be confident of competing against anyone she comes up against.