Emma Raducanu hails ‘great step’ ahead of US Open title defence amid return to attacking approach

·2 min read
Emma Raducanu hails ‘great step’ ahead of US Open title defence amid return to attacking approach

Emma Raducanu will head into her US Open title defence relieved she is swinging freely again and back playing the brand of attacking tennis that took her to her fairytale win at Flushing Meadows last year.

Her dominant form at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati ended as she lost 7-5 6-4 to Jessica Pegula, who proved a sharp step up in class for the 19-year-old British No1 after she trounced former world No1s Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka in the space of less than 16 hours.

But there are tell-tale signs that Raducanu is getting back to her best after an up-and-down year.

Raducanu, who reached a career-high ranking of world No10 last month, now switches her focus to defending her crown at the US Open, which starts on August 29.

Ahead of her return to New York, she says she was tired of trying to play defensively and realised that she would not succeed at the top level by just pushing the ball around.

Emma Raducanu is on the right track ahead of her US Open title defence in New York (Getty Images)
Emma Raducanu is on the right track ahead of her US Open title defence in New York (Getty Images)

"This week was a great step for me," said Raducanu. "In the past year it's probably like the first tournament or like one of the few tournaments that I have actually started going for my shots more.

“This week I kind of just was like, 'look, I'm just going to try, I don't care if I make errors, like it's fine, but I'm just going to overhit if anything'. I'm pretty proud of how I did this week, and I think it's a great step to move forward.

“It is definitely relieving, because I feel like I'm swinging with the same sort of freedom as I probably had, more similar to last year.

“So it feels really good. I think that I can really take it as a positive week, and I actually feel like I'm heading in a good direction again."