Emma Raducanu says she will endeavour to continue working in exactly the same manner as before her shock US Open victory last month as she adjusts to the increased attention and her transformed status as the newest grand slam champion on the women’s tour.
The 18-year-old will make her first appearance since winning the title at Flushing Meadows at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, after being given a wildcard to compete.
“What got me to this point is not thinking anything differently,” she said. “If I just put additional thoughts in my head, then that will just create a problem. I am just going to keep going on about my business and stay the same.”
With her seeding of 17, Raducanu received a first-round bye and she awaits either the world No 71 María Camila Osorio Serrano or Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who is ranked No 100, in the second round. Raducanu faces a potential third-round match with the 11th seed, Simona Halep, should both players win their opening tie.
Indian Wells also marks Raducanu’s first tournament since opting not to continue working with Andrew Richardson, who had temporarily coached her during the US hardcourt season. She is currently being helped by Jeremy Bates, the head of women’s tennis at the LTA, and says she is confident she will handle herself well until she appoints a permanent coach. “I know that even though I’m quite young, I’ve got a lot of experience banked,” she said. “And at the end of the day you’re out there on your own and you have to be your own coach on the court.”
The enormous amount of popularity and attention Raducanu gained in New York has immediately led to appearances at events such as the Met Gala and the No Time To Die James Bond movie premiere, but she says that aside from the odd event, she has been focused on training since her time in New York.
“When I was at home I still didn’t really go out,’ she said. “I didn’t go to a restaurant or anything. I was just at home with my family, I got some really cool invitations. It felt nice to receive the support and everyone’s kind messages and kind words but, yeah, I didn’t really get too caught up in it. I just focused on my tennis and my training.”
Despite getting to experience “some great things that I probably never would have got to do before,” Raducanu says that the most special moment of the past three weeks remains the night she shared with her team in New York after winning the title.
“The highlight for me still and always will be the night that I won and afterwards after the match when we went back to the hotel and it was just me and the team, having a really nice meal and chatting and reflecting on the past three weeks,” she said. “For me that’s always going to be the highlight, even though all of the invitations were very cool I think that’s what’s going to stick in my mind.”