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"I have learnt that I can adapt to this surface much faster than I probably thought" - Emma Raducanu on her claycourt game ahead of French Open

Emma Raducanu is hopeful of a strong run at Roland Garros next fortnight.
Emma Raducanu is hopeful of a strong run at Roland Garros next fortnight.
Bhargav

Emma Raducanu is pleased with the improvements she's made to her game on clay ahead of the year's second Grand Slam at Roland Garros.

Raducanu shot into the spotlight last season when she became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam, scripting a fairytale run to the US Open title. However, she has failed to kick on, falling early in almost every tournament she's played since then.

Qualifier ➑️ ChampionEmma Raducanu wins 10 matches to do the unthinkable at the #USOpen https://t.co/K3X5mLlnCL

The 19-year-old has an underwhelming 7-9 record this season, with her best result being a quarterfinal run in Stuttgart, where she lost to eventual champion Iga Swiatek.

Despite the lack of success on clay, Raducanu feels she has adapted well to the challenges posed by the surface.

"I have definitely learnt that I can adapt to this surface much faster than I probably thought, and, you know, about how to stay in the point and, you know, I think my movement on defence has also improved a bit," she said during a pre-tournament press conference at the French Open.

The Brit said it was important to strike the right balance between attack and defense in order to succeed on clay.

"You know, when to play with spin and when to actually hit it hard. You know, you don't have to always just grind it out. Sometimes you can put your hard court game on a clay court, as well. It's just finding the balance. I think that clay definitely teaches you that," she added.

"I could be a great claycourt player" - Emma Raducanu

Internazionali BNL D'Italia 2022 - Day Three
Internazionali BNL D'Italia 2022 - Day Three

Emma Raducanu has had most of her success on hardcourt, winning her only singles title on the surface (US Open 2021). However, the teenager believes she could be a potent claycourter once she develops more robustness and consistency in her game.

Hear her roar πŸ—£οΈ@EmmaRaducanu takes the second set 6-2 and forces a decider!#MMOPEN https://t.co/wlibZhtjFI
"Well, I think that when I said that six weeks ago, and I still think this, is that I could be a great claycourt player, like looking forward, long, medium term, in a few years where I have definitely developed more robustness and I'm able to repeat the same shots over and over," she said.

She added that she's "enjoying the clay", having made a quick transition.

"I think that I have definitely come a long way and probably progressed faster than expected of myself in the last few weeks, and I really am enjoying the clay. To be honest, I think I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would. Clay at the beginning kind of was like written off. But now I really believe that I can be good and faster than I thought it would be."

Emma Raducanu will open her Roland Garros campaign against qualifier Linda Noskova.


Edited by Arvind Sriram

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