TRANSYLVANIA (REUTERS) – Emma Raducanu said people will have to be patient as the 18-year-old looks to establish herself on the WTA Tour after her fairy tale US Open triumph last month.
Raducanu stunned the sporting world when she won the Flushing Meadows title as a qualifier and without dropping a set. But the Briton was knocked out in the second round at Indian Wells when she returned to action this month and is still without a coach after parting ways with former Davis Cup player Andrew Richardson.
Raducanu will face Slovenia’s Polona Hercog in her opening match of the Transylvania Open in Cluj, Romania, on Tuesday (Oct 26) and the world No. 23 said it was important to temper expectations.
“I feel like everyone should just be a little patient with me,” she told British media on Monday.
“I am going to find my tennis, I just need a little bit of time. Things have happened rather fast, I am learning a lot.
“I just need to be patient with myself, not expect too much. I am learning to accept it is not so smooth. In the long term, I know it will be up and down, the past few weeks I have learnt a lot about myself.
“I am really excited for the next chapter. This end of the season and the next year I can play on the Tour, like a full year, and that is the most exciting thing.
“Patience is key, because, as I said, there are a lot of lows, where you learn about your game. You adjust to each level gradually.
“I kind of went from zero to the top of the game. So, it’s obviously going to take some time to adjust and adapt but hopefully with some good work I will be able to do that.”
Former world No. 1 Simona Halep backed Raducanu to break into the world’s top 10.
“She did something great and, probably, she will need some time to see how it is every week to be there,” Halep said.
“And then she will become much stronger.”
The British No. 1 could also be in line to meet her idol Halep in the semi-finals should both players progress that far.
“Simona is an inspiration to me. I loved watching her from a young age. We have had a few short friendly exchanges,” Raducanu added.
“She has been really nice. Which I find really cool. It is amazing now I can play the same tournaments as her, see her around. I just find her really cool.”
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