EMMA RADUCANU MAKES CONFIDENT CLAIM BRITISH FANS WILL LOVE AHEAD OF LONG-AWAITED WIMBLEDON RETURN

Emma Raducanu has had a tough few years on tour, but the former British No 1 feels as though she's getting back on track just in time for her Wimbledon return.

The 21-year-old shot to superstardom three years ago when she made the most of a Wimbledon wildcard by reaching the second week of the major on her debut slam to capture the hearts of a nation.

History then followed a few months later with her incredible US Open victory, but it's been a difficult ride for Raducanu ever since then.

She's tumbled down the rankings and struggled with a number of injury issues before undergoing surgery on both her wrists last year.

Raducanu often cut a solemn figure after matches and she didn't appear to be enjoying it.

However, her love for the sport has returned this year and reaching the Nottingham Open semi-finals last week saw her rocket back up the rankings with a big opportunity at Wimbledon next week.

“I’m just really into it at the moment,” said Raducanu.

“I love the sport. I love tennis. I’ve really rekindled a light and a fire inside of me. Just very happy and enjoying it a lot.

“I would say right before Nottingham it happened.

“I’m just really grateful to have this feeling again because it’s something that I’ve been missing for the last few years.

"I haven’t felt this good about my tennis and just excited and passionate for a long, long time.”

It was in her home country where Raducanu announced herself on the world stage and playing in the UK is still something that gives her 'big joy'.

She said: “I missed it last year obviously and it’s nice, you forget the feeling.

"I think that it’s just showing in my practices and it’s showing in my day-to-day.

"I think I’m just putting my personality on the court [and] I’m a lot brighter and bubblier.

“Someone actually commented the other day: ‘It’s like [you’re] back to your old self.’

"And I would actually say ‘No, it’s my new self’, because I have the experiences that I’ve learned from the past me, too.

"I’m just happy and I like figuring out the challenges because I know there are inevitably going to be some.”

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She added: “Inevitably, even in the tournaments in the UK that aren’t Wimbledon, you feel an element of pressure.

“But I think the way to spin it is: ‘All of these people have come here to watch me.’ It’s just great and [about] using that energy.

“I’m way less focused on the result [than before]. I know with the way that I’m training and the way that I’m competing and fighting on the court, good things are 100 per cent going to happen.

“I have full faith and belief in that now and I can actually say it and mean it at the same time. For me, that’s the best situation to be in. I was trying to figure out ‘What’s my why?’ and now I just love what I’m doing. I think that’s the best place to be.”

2024-06-24T20:39:49Z dg43tfdfdgfd