Emma Raducanu was facing many tangibles when she entered the Transylvania Open in Romania. She was still trying to figure out her game and how it failed at the opener of Indian Wells. She was dealing with not having a coach and getting another to guide her in other tournaments.
Emma Raducanu was about to have her first meeting with Slovenia's Polona Hercog, a veteran on tour who holds 5 titles and multi ITF crowns. But she kept herself in control to dig out a win against her opponent in three sets 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.
"I feel really happy to have won that match. It was very difficult and I wasn't playing my best tennis..." she admitted after her success in Romania. Raducanu was just anticipating how she would fare after her disastrous last match in 'The Desert' with Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Fresh off her triumphant U.S. Open victory, it might have been premature to think she would defeat her next competitor in the same fashion as she did to Leylah Fernandez at Flushing. Transylvania wasn't only her next tournament but was the home country and heritage of her Romanian father and grandmother in a town that wholeheartedly welcomed her.
"This means a lot to play in my dad's country," she'd say feeling optimistic about her participation at the Transylvania Open. In the first set, Emma was dictating shots and being assertive. She had felt in control and breezed through 4 perfect games.
But then the Slovenian decided to take control, winning 5 straight games. It wasn't long before Hercog won the set leaving Emma totally bewildered. The British teen would shake her head as she talked to herself on the tactics to make good of the second set.
Something must have clicked. The scores were tied 2-all, but a desire to win led Raducanu to dictate more shots and push Hercog to hit one more ball, forcing errors that the Slovenian didn't do in the first set. Emma was hitting precision shots down the line, cross courts and just showed her U.S.
Open talents that won her the crown. The sets levelled, this was Raducanu's time to shine and she felt a passion to keep her pedal to the metal and pushed a 5-0 lead. Hercog could not contain the teen from doing damage to her once sparkling game.
It was Raducanu who won the deciding set of 6-1. Being successful in her first tournament after the Open title meant a lot to Emma. This win had her breathing a bit easier again, having more faith in her game that last time failed her.
She analyzed her rise to star quality on winning the slam saying "I kind of went from zero to the top of the game. So it's obviously going to take some time to adjust and adapt..." It seems as though Emma Raducanu is having an easier time adjusting as she cranks up another win on tour.
She's beginning to have great belief in her game and knows well that this could be the start of a great season to come.