Emma Raducanu was bounced out of the Cincinnati Masters on Thursday nightNotwithstanding the loss, Raducanu is in good spirits - 'proud' of her week in CINThe 19-year-old says she feels very similarly to this time last year where she became the first player in the Open Era to win a grand slam as a qualifier
Emma Raducanu has decided that if she is going to lose, she’s going to go down swinging.
That was her message after what the US Open champion described as a ‘really positive week’ at the Cincinnati Masters, despite her third round defeat against Jessica Pegula.
The 19-year-old was defeated 7-5, 6-4 but heads to New York in a buoyant mood after adopting a more aggressive game plan. She even, tentatively, drew comparisons to how she felt last year, when she qualified for the US Open and went on to win it.
Emma Raducanu is heading to the US Open to defend her title in confident spirits
‘I’ve started going for my shots more – recently I’ve been playing and hoping they would miss,’ Raducanu said in her post-match press conference. ‘I’ve been pushing the ball around. This week I was just like, I’m going to try it, I don’t care if I make errors, I’m going to overhit if anything.
“I’m proud of how I did this week. I think it’s a great step to move forward.
‘I got tired of pushing the ball around and having people hit the ball and they run me around. I’ve tried that for pretty much a year.
‘If I’m going to lose, I’m probably going to lose anyway pushing the ball around at this level, it just doesn’t work. So I thought I’m just going to do it, give this tournament a swing and it worked.
Despite the defeat, Raducanu feels as if she’s improving her decision-making on the court
‘It is definitely relieving because I feel like I’m swinging with the same sort of freedom that I had, or more similar to, last year. I can really take it as a positive week and I feel like I am heading in a positive direction again.’
And it has been a positive week for Raducanu. She swept Serena Williams aside 6-4, 6-0 and backed it up with an impressive win against Victoria Azarenka.
‘Every match at this level, I figure out what works and what doesn’t work. I feel more comfortable in what I’m doing now,’ Raducanu added.
Despite her early career success, Raducanu is still young and malleable enough to take her game to heights well beyond the sole grand slam in her trophy cabinet
‘At the US Open I played really good tennis, I was swinging with the freedom that I started to tap into this week.
I really enjoyed this week, if I made an error it was almost a positive thing – “good, you’re going for it”‘. It paid off more than it didn’t.’
In the meantime, Raducanu vowed to head to a bagel shop as soon as she gets back to New York.
‘I just love New York as a city, I can’t wait to go back,’ she said. ‘I really have been craving a bagel for about a year!’
Raducanu is optimistic about returning to the tournament wherein she became a global star