Emma Raducanu warns rivals she is ‘dangerous’ as she backtracks on US Open title claim
Emma Raducanu has sent a message to her rivals that the “hunger” she has now after her time away from tennis makes her “pretty dangerous.”
The 21-year-old also declared that she “wouldn’t trade” her US Open title “for the world” now she has had time to reflect after she had previously suggested she regretted the triumph.
Raducanu is in action at the WTA 500 tournament in Abu Dhabi this week, where she will face second seed and world No 6 On Jabeur in the second round on Wednesday.
The current world No 296, who is competing as a wildcard, impressively defeated 36th-ranked Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-1 in the opening round on Monday.
The Brit, who returned from an eight-month absence in Auckland last month following surgeries on both her wrists and her ankle last year, is competing in just the third event of her comeback.
During her injury-enforced absence last year, Raducanu admitted she sometimes wished she had not won the US Open in 2021 due to the challenges that followed.
“That moment on the court, when I was celebrating, I was like, I would literally trade any struggle in the world for this moment,” Raducanu told The Times.
“Anything can come my way, I will take it for what I have right now because this is the best thing in the world. I promised myself that, on the court that day. Since then I’ve had a lot of setbacks, one after the other.
“I am resilient, my tolerance is high, but it’s not easy. And sometimes I think to myself I wish I’d never won the US Open, I wish that didn’t happen. Then I am like, remember that feeling, remember that promise, because it was completely pure.”
In an interview with CNN in Abu Dhabi, Raducanu was asked to explain what she meant by expressing regret over her stunning victory in New York.
“Yeah, I think when I was saying those things, I hadn’t necessarily had the time to take a step back and reflect. Now in the position that I’m in, I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” the former world No 10 said.
“But I think I was so wrapped up and so caught up in everything, in the whirlwind that happened after. And now having come through injury with a different perspective, I’m really grateful that I did so.”
The 21-year-old also discussed the difficulty of the three surgeries she underwent last year and proclaimed that her absence has fueled her motivation.
“Well, I think initially I was disappointed of course, like anyone when they found they had to have three surgeries. I had three in the same week so that was very difficult. I was very immobile, I couldn’t do anything,” Raducanu explained.
“After the initial boredom and disappointment, I think that I quite enjoyed the time off because I felt like it gave me time to reset and reflect on why I do tennis, why I play, what I enjoy about it and then it really gave me time to miss it and be hungry again, and I think me when I have that hunger is… yeah, it’s pretty dangerous.
“So now, when I got back to training in late November, because I had a setback, I was really, really looking forward to just making the most of every second on the court.”
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