Emma Raducanu insists off-court commitments will not affect training

  • Player prioritises practice and says that is ‘non-negotiable’
  • Raducanu preparing for Upper Austria Ladies Linz tournament

Emma Raducanu says she has told the people around her that she refuses to allow any off-court commitments since her US Open triumph to influence work on the court and training will always be the priority.

“I made it very, very clear to every single person in my team that I was not going to cancel one training session or practice session for any off-court commitments,” said Raducanu, speaking on the eve of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz.

“That was a non-negotiable for me. I wanted to make sure that that is my priority and it is. So everyone’s clear about that. But it’s just managing my time with the commitments around that. Even if it’s not off-court events or whatever, I’m still doing my WTA rookie hours for example.”

Raducanu, who has reached a career-high rank of 21 this week, will be the first seed in a WTA event for the first time in her career, a remarkable outcome in just her seventh tour main‑draw appearance. Simona Halep, the former world No 1, is the second seed. Raducanu has received a first-round bye and will face either Kateryna Kozlova or Wang Xinyu, both qualifiers, in her opening match.

A week ago, Raducanu reached her first WTA tour quarter-final in Cluj-Napoca, where she was defeated convincingly by Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine. Raducanu said afterwards that she was fatigued after her life‑changing year. In Linz, she chose not to divulge any new information on her search for a new coach, noting that she is in “a very good position with it” and that her new coach will be with her when she travels to the Australian Open in January.

“I’m here on my own and being my coach again this week, which I think is really good for me long-term. I’m really feeling positive about my coaching situation. It’s in a good place and yeah, I will have a coach in place in the Australian Open,” said Raducanu, who is with her mother in Linz after her father accompanied her in Cluj.

As she competes in the final tournament of a whirlwind season, Raducanu reflected on how her life has changed over the past year. She had started the season with only A-levels on her mind and it was not until June that she started to compete and travel full time as a professional.

“Only March the 18th was my first session on court in 2021,” she said. “And so January, February, March I was literally just sat on my desk staring at a wall for nine hours a day. So I feel like where I am now I just need to really take it all in and enjoy because looking back at how far I’ve come it’s pretty surreal. I just really need to enjoy it because when I was in the beginning of year I would have never thought this was possible. I’m kind of just really living in the moment right now I feel.”

Meanwhile, Andy Murray will be working with Esteban Carril, a former coach of Johanna Konta who recently trialled with Raducanu, at the Stockholm Open this week.

Contributor

Tumaini Carayol

The GuardianTramp

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