World No. 13 Emma Raducanu didn't impress in Australia but former British No. 1 Johanna Konta thinks the 19-year-old should look at her first Australian Open as a positive experience. After suffering a brutal 6-0 6-1 loss to Daria Kasatkina in the Sydney first round, Raducanu beat 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the Australian Open first round.
Raducanu was hampered by blisters against Danka Kovinic and that contributed to her suffering a shock second round loss to Danka Kovinic. “I think she has to look back on this Australian Open as a positive experience,” Konta said, per Yahoo Sport UK.
“The fact that she had that tough first round against Sloane Stephens and was able to come through that and also the way she was still able to compete in that second round. “I think it’s a positive that she’s on tour and she’s going to be consistently on tour now, that’s what we need to keep on talking about, she needs time in this environment and just that consistent time in this environment – it’ll all go into the bank of experience."
Konta: Raducanu has a very mature approach to her new reality
Raducanu basically became a major superstar overnight as she landed several lucrative sponsorship deals after becoming the first qualifier in tennis history to win a Grand Slam.
Raducanu defeated Caroline Garcia in her Indian Wells opener but suffered a shock third round exit after failing to serve out for the match against Petra Martic. Raducanu could head into the clay season with just two wins under her belt in 2022.
However, Konta doesn't see it as concerning. "I don’t really think Emma necessarily deals with pressure like how we would be expecting her to deal with it, I think she’s incredibly mature with how she’s dealing with everything around her," Konta added.
“So, I do not believe it will faze her too much changing onto the clay court, she’s definitely played on clay courts I would assume before as a junior, and obviously again it’ll just be about spending time on that surface at the highest level of the game.
“It’s an exciting time for her to discover how her game feels on the surface against these players so I think more than anything it’s again just time and adding it all into the bank of experience”.