US Open winner Emma Raducanu has revealed that she used dislike tennis so much that she would cry on court.
The 19-year-old has enjoyed a huge turnaround in her experiences on the court as she developed into the most promising British prospect since Andy Murray.
Indeed, she is well ahead of his progress by some measures, having already won the US Open.
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However, she has also struggled at times to match up to the expectations that her first impressions on the public led to.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, she explained why she is not overly concerned with a second-round Wimbledon exit in 2022, after reaching the fourth round in the previous year’s tournament.
She said: “I wasn’t even going to play the tournament because I had an injury that I was out with for almost three weeks. I only started serving two days before my first-round match. It was a tight squeeze.”
However, she has not always been relaxed, and recalled her less positive experiences.
“When I was five or six, I was pretty much the only girl in most of the classes,” she began. “I remember clinging on to the fence, hiding behind my mum’s skirt.
"I didn’t want anything to do with it because I was shy. I’d literally cry on the court during a match.”
Raducanu has also received criticism of a supportive tweet for Australian player Nick Kyrgios.
She tweeted: “NK” during the tournament, but the beaten finalist had been charged with allegedly assaulting an ex-girlfriend.
In response, Raducanu said: “To me, he’s always been very kind and generous.
“He was supporting me after Wimbledon last year, before the US Open, so the way he’s been with me, yeah, he’s been really nice. People definitely want to watch Nick.”
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05/08/2022 AT 20:07