Emma Raducanu opens up on message she gave herself before US Open warm-up win

Wimbledon: Emma Raducanu exits on day three of tournament

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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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“I think playing any first round is always pretty challenging. Then when you’re not necessarily that match-sharp, small things you don’t necessarily get right. It’s just important to stay calm.”

Initially scheduled to face Marie Bouzkova in the first round, Chirico made for an easier opponent after the former withdrew following her win at the Prague Open. Raducanu will return on Thursday to face Colombian Camila Osorio, who overcame 2020 Australian Open-winner Sofia Kenin 7-6(2), 6-1 to reach this stage.

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Raducanu wasn’t quite as impressive in her pro doubles debut alongside Dane Clara Tauson earlier in the competition. The pair were forced out in the first round after losing to Monica Niculescu and Lucie Hradecka in straight sets.

Having won her maiden major while working with Andrew Richardson last year, the British No. 1 aims to replicate the feat after recruiting Russian coach Dmitry Tursunov on a trial run. Their partnership is off to a fine start, but nowhere except the top will do for Raducanu ahead of the biggest contest of her career to date.

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