Tensions are high for Emma Raducanu ahead of her title defence at the U.S. Open, but her preparations look promising after a month’s break from competition. Retaining the throne in New York is sure to prove even more difficult than her surprise win in 2021, a result that came without so much pressure given her low profile at the time, but she has spoken about the importance of keeping herself calm.
Raducanu advanced to the second round of the Citi Open after beating qualifier Louisa Chirico 6-4, 6-2, overcoming early nerves to move on in Washington D.C.. Any lingering cobwebs appeared to ease as the match progressed, having not played since exiting Wimbledon in the second round.
It’s easy to forget, given the amount of coverage she’s received since her shock U.S. win last year, that Raducanu is still a teen talent at the genesis of her tennis career. And she’s has had to grow up fast since then, becoming more adept at playing her own counsel when necessary.
“It definitely feels really good to get a win here in DC,” Raducanu told reporters following her first-round victory. “After not playing for quite a bit after Wimbledon or many matches at all this year, I think it’s a really nice feeling just to get on the board.
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