Injured Emma Raducanu buoyed by fight she showed in Australian Open demise

·2 min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Emma Raducanu was buoyed by the fight she showed in her Australian Open demise and is confident it will boost her for the rest of the season.

The No17 seed played with a nasty blister on her right hand and could not do enough to down Danka Kovinic, who won their second-round match on Thursday 6-4 4-6 6-3.

Despite the early exit from the US Open champion, her confidence had been boosted by the manner in which she had played through the pain barrier.

“I was just proud of how I kept fighting,” she said. “I still think I can take some positives out of it.

“I did discover elements of my game I didn’t know I had before and I can use that going forward. And I just know that I’ve got that fight in me even if I have got like one shot, I know that I can pull myself out of deep situations.

“Because I’m still young, I feel like I can learn a backhand, I can learn some sort of tactics but it’s quite hard to teach someone that fight and grittiness to hang in there when things are pretty much all against you. So, I’m quite proud of that.”

Raducanu played the second set virtually exclusively with a slice forehand after receiving repeated treatment on the damaged hand. Despite that, she still managed to win the set and pushed Kovinic close in a decider which was finely balanced as both players struggled to hold serve.

The 19-year-old said she had hit more slice forehands in that match than the last two or three years combined, and that the shot had created an element of surprise for her opponent.

“I think that variety helps,” she said. “Maybe some of the girls aren’t used to it. That was probably an element of surprise from my opponent who wasn’t expecting me to be doing that. It was pretty effective so, if I can mix that today with my aggressive game style, I think that would be a really good and dangerous combination going forward.”

Raducanu’s build-up to Melbourne was curtailed by testing positive for Covid before Christmas, which affected her pre-season fitness. As a result, she said her focus was now on getting fitter rather than placing the emphasis on any specific tournaments.

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