Emma Raducanu gets real on how she feels now about 'regretting US Open win' comment

Last summer, Raducanu said she 'sometimes wishes she did not win the US Open.'

by Dzevad Mesic
Emma Raducanu gets real on how she feels now about 'regretting US Open win' comment
© Getty Images Sport - Francois Nel

Emma Raducanu is taking back her comment that she regrets winning the 2021 US Open as the 21-year-old Briton says she "would not trade" that unique achievement for anything else in the world. 

Two and a half years ago, an 18-year-old Raducanu wrote tennis history and achieved something that no one else had done before in the game - she won a Grand Slam as a qualifier. That year, Raducanu won a total of 10 matches at Flushing Meadows - all of them in straight sets - en route to becoming a Grand Slam champion at the 2021 US Open. 

After reaching the stars, Raducanu experienced the negative side of fame after she started getting heavy criticism and scrutiny when her results went south. Last June, Raducanu made a very honest but sad confession, telling the Sunday Times: "Sometimes I think to myself I wish I'd never won the US Open, I wish that didn't happen."

At the time of making that statement, Raducanu was coming off multiple surgeries she underwent in May. In her third comeback tournament at this week's Abu Dhabi Open, Raducanu was asked how she is feeling now about her US Open win.

“Yeah, I think when I was saying those things, I hadn’t necessarily had the time to take a step back and reflect. Now in the position that I’m in, I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Raducanu told CNN

“But I think I was so wrapped up and so caught up in everything, in the whirlwind that happened after. And now having come through injury with a different perspective, I’m really grateful that I did so.”

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello

Raducanu on needing surgeries and the post-surgery period

Throughout the entire 2022 season, Raducanu was dealing with constant injuries and physical setbacks. During that period, Raducanu was advised by many to work hard on getting her body right and stronger in the offseason. Raducanu listened to that advice, hiring Andy Murray's former strength and conditioning coach Jez Green. 

After putting up some big work in the gym during the offseason, Raducanu felt she was fully ready and prepared for the 2023 season and that she would avoid constant injury issues in 2023. But then, Raducanu suffered a major blow in her 2023 season-opener in Auckland, slipping badly and injuring her right ankle. 

After sustaining an ankle injury, Raducanu's wrist injuries reappeared and the Briton again started dealing with major wrist issues. Following first-round losses in Miami and Stuttgart - where Raducanu was evidently struggling with wrist pain and discomfort - Raducanu made the call it was time to surgically fix her injuries.

Reflecting on that decision, Raducanu admitted it felt "disappointing" to know she needed three surgeries and that she felt bored after initially having surgeries. Also, Raducanu noted it was difficult being "very immobile" and having to use a wheelchair following her ankle injury. But reflecting on everything now, Raducanu is drawing positives as it helped her "reset" and rediscover her "tennis hunger."

“Well, I think initially I was disappointed of course, like anyone when they found they had to have three surgeries. I had three in the same week so that was very difficult. I was very immobile, I couldn’t do anything,” Raducanu said.

“After the initial boredom and disappointment, I think that I quite enjoyed the time off because I felt like it gave me time to reset and reflect on why I do tennis, why I play, what I enjoy about it and then it really gave me time to miss it and be hungry again, and I think me when I have that hunger is… yeah, it’s pretty dangerous.

“So now, when I got back to training in late November, because I had a setback, I was really, really looking forward to just making the most of every second on the court.”

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Francois Nel

Can a healthy Raducanu win a Grand Slam again?

Raducanu's decision to undergo three surgeries was mostly praised by analysts and former tennis stars as the general belief was that continuing to play injured wouldn't do the 21-year-old Briton much good. Also, many argued that being fully healthy and ready was the only situation in which Raducanu could fulfill her potential to the fullest and become the player she was tipped to be after her 2021 US Open win. 

Since returning to tennis at the start of the 2024 season, Raducanu confirmed a couple of times that she is playing pain-free and without feeling any discomfort. Describing that feeling and state, Raducanu described it as "amazing."

When addressing her game and ambitions, Raducanu highlighted that for now her goal remains improving in practice and then showing that in real matches. When it comes to her predictions for the future, Raducanu underlined that she is "far from a finished product" and that she hopes to land big titles in the future. 

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

If Raducanu stays healthy long-term and keeps improving, there is no doubt that she could make some Grand Slam noise in the future.

Emma Raducanu Us Open