Emma Raducanu opens up on how she feels after getting rid of 'backpack of rocks'

In Auckland, Raducanu returned to tennis after not competing for eight months.

by Dzevad Mesic
Emma Raducanu opens up on how she feels after getting rid of 'backpack of rocks'
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Emma Raducanu is feeling way happier and more relaxed on the court now as the 21-year-old reveals she has gotten rid of "a backpack of rocks" that she was carrying on her back for two years. 

Following her historic 2021 US Open win - during which Raducanu became the first-ever tennis player to win a Grand Slam title as a qualifier - the Briton instantly went from being just a promising teenager to one of the most popular and famous tennis players in the world. Also, Raducanu's 2021 US Open win drew worldwide attention and she basically overnight became one of the most talked-about British athletes. 

But Raducanu wasn't prepared for all of that and it didn't take long before she realized the dark side of fame and popularity. In the year and a half before undergoing three surgeries in May, Raducanu didn't win any titles as she was often struggling with her form and results. 

After being out for eight months, Raducanu launched her post-surgery comeback in Auckland. Judging by Raducanu's words, a lot has changed in her situation since she competed in Stuttgart last April. 

"I feel a lot lighter now than I did for a long time after US Open, like I'm not playing with a backpack of rocks, I feel pretty light and happy," Raducanu said in Melbourne.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Raducanu suggests she is wiser now

In one of her interviews from last year, Raducanu admitted that after the 2021 US Open and all the fame and popularity that came her way, she was probably a bit naive in some situations and that not everyone was working in her best interests. Now, Raducanu is putting major emphasis on surrounding herself with the right and trustworthy.

"Reflecting on the past I think surrounding yourself with competent and knowledgeable people is of course really important, but also the type of person and their character, just making sure we really get on and that intentions are really good," Raducanu said.

Emma Raducanu and Nick Cavaday
Emma Raducanu and Nick Cavaday© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

During this year's Australian Open, Raducanu will be accompanied by coach Nick Cavaday. Raducanu has a good relationship with coach Cavaday and he is someone she trusts since they worked together during her childhood. 

Raducanu plays Shelby Rogers in the Australian Open first round.

Emma Raducanu