World No. 18 Emma Raducanu suffered a humiliating defeat in her season opener but insisted afterwards that there's no reason for concern. Raducanu, who tested positive for COVID-19 last month, kicked off her 2022 season in Sydney, where she was handed a 6-0 6-1 loss by Elena Rybakina.
"I felt pretty comfortable and welcome out there on court. I had a lot of support, which is really good," Raducanu said, per Sportskeeda. "I didn't play tennis for 21 days and to come out and play Rybakina straight up. I mean, it's tough but it's good because I'm very proud and happy that I put myself out there.
"I could have easily said it's too soon and just play next week, but I wanted to really test where I'm at and obviously give myself some competitive points and matches. I think this will help in putting me in a better place for next week."
Raducanu not concerned ahead of the Australian Open
Raducanu is confident she can quickly brush off the loss and do well at Melbourne Park.
"I think that I will brush this off, because for me, like, just getting out there, playing points, yesterday was pretty much like my second time playing competitive points for like two months, even in practice," Raducanu said.
"I'm confident that I can brush it off and just keep going, keep working, and next week I'll have a bit of match experience under my belt." Raducanu is set to play her first full season on the WTA Tour and she is focused on a steady progress.
"I mean, at the end of the day I just want to keep putting myself out there. Even if I keep getting knocked down and it's just about getting back up and basically just falling in front. You're one step better. You learn more," Raducanu said.
"I'm just at the start of my first season. I think one of my goals is not to get too down or too high. It's to just try and keep a steady progress and tracking upwards hopefully."