British tennis star Emma Raducanu has revealed the struggles of adapting to life on the WTA Tour.
The 19-year is appearing on the Tour for the first time this season, having rocketed up the world rankings after her improbable victory at the US Open in September.
She has found it difficult to find a run of form this year, and most recently crashed out of the French Open in the second round after losing to Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Wimbledon will be Radacanu’s next major tournament, and she discussed the relief of playing at an event she was familiar with.
“I do really welcome going around the second time,” she said. “I think this year was always going to be challenging for me to adjust, find my feet.
“There’s always something new. Like, I’m always asking where everything is. I have no idea where everything is. It’s going to be a lot more familiar this time around.”
Raducanu has been blighted by injury since the US Open – she was hampered by her back at Indian Wells, the Miami Open, Madrid Open and Italian Open, and was forced to retire from her first-round match at the Guadalajara Open with a hip injury.
Blisters have been another issue for Raducanu, particularly at the Australian Open and Billie Jean King Cup. But despite these struggles with fitness, the teenager showed promise during the clay season.
“I think that I definitely got stronger as the clay season went on,” Raducanu said. “It just takes a lot more to win the point on this surface. You hit a ball flat, doesn’t really do that much.
“I definitely learnt when to use the shape and stuff. I still got quite a long way to go on this surface, but overall, I would say I definitely had a good first experience on the clay. I think that I can definitely improve a lot more than what I am at right now.”
Raducanu also spoke about developing mental resilience after results didn’t go her way at tournaments.
“I think before I would let the losses kind of affect me more so than I am right now,” she said. “Now I just look at everything as a lesson, and I know exactly where I went wrong, where I can improve, where other people are better than me.
“I definitely just look at all of these matches as a good tool to kind of teach me where to improve my own game.”