Emma Raducanu confirms next move after ‘bitter’ Wimbledon exit – ‘I want more’

Shahida Jacobs
Emma Raducanu after her match
Emma Raducanu waves as she leaves Centre Court

Emma Raducanu admits her fourth-round exit from Wimbledon was a “bitter” defeat to take, but insists her recent performances have “fuelled the fire” with her focus set to switch to the hard-court swing soon.

Following her win over ninth seed Maria Sakkari in the previous round, expectations were sky-high ahead of Raducanu’s round of 16 clash against qualifier Lulu Sun.

However, the New Zealander produced a superb display to end the former US Open winner’s hopes of a home Grand Slam title run as she won 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 thanks to an aggressive display.

Following her decision to skip the 2024 Paris Games, Raducanu will take a short breather before starting her preparations for the North American hard-court swing.

While most other players will be competing on clay next week ahead of the Olympics, Raducanu’s next event is the DC Open which gets underway on July 29.

“I’m going to go to the States, start in D.C., and get on the hard courts. I think I’ll take a few days off just to freshen up with the body, freshen up. Obviously, it’s an intense period on the grass,” she explained.

“I feel good about things going forward. I feel optimistic. I think that today, as bitter as it is to take, I think it happened for a reason. You don’t want things to happen too easily and too quickly. Well, I had that before. I don’t necessarily want just a massive spike (smiling).

“I think I’m just working there, tracking in the right direction. Yeah, I’ll just start off in D.C. and go from there.”

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Despite a disappointing end to her Wimbledon campaign, Raducanu can take a lot of positives from her grass-court season as she also defeated world No 5 Jessica Pegula in Eastbourne and she is set to return to the top 100 in the WTA Rankings with a 43-place jump to No 92.

“I beat two top-10 players within two weeks, which is a pretty big deal for me, seeing as the whole US Open even I didn’t play one top-10 player. I think I have to take confidence from that,” the 21-year-old said.

“Six months ago when I was starting out after surgery, I would have signed for the fourth round at Wimbledon. Of course I’m disappointed. Of course I want more. I think everything does happen for a reason. It just, yeah, fuels the fire and makes me more hungry.”

Having struggled with poor form and injuries following her 2021 US Open title, Raducanu showed glimpses of her best form in recent weeks.

She produced a vintage performance against Sakkari – one that was reminiscent of her Flushing Meadows run – and she feels there is more in the tank now that the “fire is back”.

“I take for sure that there are areas I need to keep improving. I think certain things I have been doing better over the grass-court season. I think I improved a few things. My serve got better. I think I need to just work on the consistency of it, like being good every day not just like some days.

“Honestly, it just makes me more determined. I think I really put myself first in the last few weeks, few months. Tennis is the only thing that is really occupying my time, my mind. It’s all I want to do really.

“I think that that desire and fire is back. I just want to keep building on that.”