Emma Raducanu, the US Open champion, says she’s ready to “grow and get better” in her first full season on the Tour.
After playing for the first time on home soil since her historic Flushing Meadows victory in September, the British teenager was in high spirits.
Emma Raducanu won an exhibition match at the ATP Champions Tour event at London’s Royal Albert Hall against her good friend and practise partner Elena-Gabriela Ruse before explaining her goals for next year and why she considers Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton to be her coach.
Raducanu, who turned 19 earlier this month, is gearing up for a rigorous programme that will begin in Australia.
By quoting tennis legend Billie Jean King, the British No. 1 deflected claims that she is destined to become a major target for her opponents.
“I’m not sure what other people think of me,” she admitted. “Pressure is a privilege, and it will happen. I believe I thrive on adrenaline.
“As a result, I don’t give much thought to other people’s perspectives or expectations. The only ones I have are those that I have set for myself to grow and become better at.”
Despite her incredible success, the Bromley youngster is keen to keep grounded, saying: “I’m simply going about my daily routine.
“I occasionally take the train. I’m doing the same excursions as before. I have a distinct impression that I am the same person. I’ll go about my business as usual. I don’t see why I should alter the factors that led to my current position. I’m still having fun with it.”
Raducanu also stated that Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has been tutoring her since they met at the Met Gala in New York following her incredible US Open victory.
“In terms of simply guiding me through these following stages, he has been an excellent role model for me. He’s a genuinely nice guy “she retorted
“He’s just been very nice in assisting me. He reassured me by saying, “Be patient, ride the wave.” He’s a genuinely nice person.”
The adolescent has returned to pre-season training and is getting ready to work with her new coach, Torben Beltz.
“We’ve had a lot of communication,” Raducanu remarked. “I’ve just been doing a lot of fitness, like four to five hours a day exercising and starting my tennis next week, so he’ll be coming in and we’ll be working hard together during the off-season and into Australia,” she says.
Beltz, who is most known for coaching former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber, is recognised for being a warm and approachable figure rather than a strict disciplinarian.
“Torben is a highly optimistic man who adds a lot of enthusiasm,” Raducanu continued. He’s one of those people that you can’t help but be around because his energy is contagious.
“Having that on my squad is fantastic, and he’s always brightening the mood.” I’m extremely thrilled to work with him, and this off-season will give me a chance to get to know him more and see where it goes.”
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