British tennis sensation Emma Raducanu burst into the global spotlight in 2021 when she became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam tournament in the Open Era with a victory at the U.S. Open.
Raducanu was only 18 when she reached the top 20 in the WTA rankings with an appearance in the top 10 the following year. Since then, she’s failed to capture any other Grand Slam title and finished as high as the second round in the 2022 Australian and French Opens and the 2023 Australian Open.
The struggles she faced since the U.S. Open has her wishing sometimes that she didn’t win the tournament because of the added pressure and stress.
“That moment on the court, when I was celebrating, I was like, I would literally trade any struggle in the world for this moment,” she told the Sunday Times. “Since then I’ve had a lot of setbacks, one after the other. I am resilient, my tolerance is high, but it’s not easy. And sometimes I think to myself I wish I’d never won the U.S. Open.”
The victory came with added expectations and hopes that she would continue to dominate on the court and elevate British tennis players on the women’s side.
However, losses coupled with injuries didn’t help matters.
“I had to mature very quickly. When I won I was extremely naïve,” she told the outlet. “What I have realized in the past two years, the tour and everything that comes with it, it’s not a very nice, trusting and safe space. You have to be on guard because there are a lot of sharks out there.
“I think people in the industry, especially with me because I was 19, now 20, they see me as a piggy bank. It has been difficult to navigate. I have been burnt a few times. I have learnt, keep your circle as small as possible.”
Raducanu is 98-49 in her singles career. She missed the French Open as she recovered from surgery to her wrists and ankle and is not expected to play Wimbledon either.
The final Grand Slam tournament of the season is the U.S. Open, which is slated to begin Aug. 28.
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