Emma Raducanu comments on staying cold-tempered in most tense moments vs France

Raducanu showed some outstanding mental strength in her two BJK Cup wins this past weekend.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Emma Raducanu comments on staying cold-tempered in most tense moments vs France
© Getty Images Sport - Aurelien Meunier

Emma Raducanu didn't hide her happiness with how she was able to react in the most nerve-wracking moments during this past weekend's Billie Jean King Cup action as the Briton highlighted that as one of the keys to her two major wins. 

Raducanu - who in the past had numerous matches where she would crumble under pressure or lose a match that she probably should have won - showed some outstanding mental strength to lead Great Britain to a win over France. 

On Friday, Great Britain was 0-1 down to France on the clay courts of Le Portel when Raducanu stepped up to beat former world No. 4 Caroline Garcia 3-6 6-3 6-2 and keep the British team alive in the tie. Against 2022 WTA Finals champion Garcia, Raducanu was down by a set and a break before coming back from a 3-6 0-2 deficit to beat the Frenchwoman. 

The following day, Raducanu fought out another tough match as she edged out Diane Parry 4-6 6-1 7-6 (1) in nearly three hours of play to complete Great Britain's 3-1 win over France. Late in the match, the entire stadium was going wild and standing behind Parry. But Raducanu stayed cold and unfazed before ultimately sealing a win over Parry. 

“It has been one of my strengths. It obviously takes a lot out of you to do that physically and emotionally. But I’m very pleased that I was able to do that this weekend," Raducanu said.

"I think that, in the matches that I’ve lost, it’s probably not been there 100 percent. And I know, like, ‘Okay, that’s how it’s got to be from now on, if I’m gonna be playing matches like that level.’”

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Aurelien Meunier
 

Raducanu on playing in a very hostile environment

After easily winning the second set with a 6-1 scoreline against Parry, Raducanu also managed to open a 5-2 third-set lead. But just when it seemed that the Briton was about to routinely complete her comeback win, she missed out on two match points when serving for the match in the ninth game. That's when the French crowd went wild and became even louder.

Then, Raducanu faced two consecutive break points in the 11th game and was in real danger of losing her fourth consecutive game. But Raducanu managed to cancel the noise in her head and save the break points to again go 6-5 and ultimately force a tie-break.

With the French crowd going wild and Parry looking determined to complete her comeback, Raducanu won six consecutive points in the third-set tie-break to seal her win in style. 

Later, Raducanu compared the atmosphere in Le Portel to the one she experienced during the 2021 US Open.

“It was pretty incredible inside that stadium. Like, the sound… because it’s such an enclosed space, everything feels so much louder," Raducanu said.

“Luckily, I have good practice. Playing on Arthur Ashe [the main US Open stadium] was a similar thing, honestly, especially when they’re all against you. So I honestly wasn’t fazed about the crowd or the sound. I think that doesn’t really bother me, which is probably one of my strengths.

“The level out there today was really high. My last Fed Cup [actually BJK Cup now, after the 2020 tie was in the Czech Republic two years ago. I think it’s great to see how far I’ve come, on a lot of notes. I’ve for sure improved because I feel like I’m playing some of the best tennis of my career and my life.”

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Aurelien Meunier
 

Raducanu gets praised by British BJK Cup team captain Anne Keothavong

For Raducanu, this was her first appearance in the competition since she took part in the 2022 BJK Cup qualifiers tie against the Czech Republic. When Raducanu finally made herself available again to the British BJK Cup team, many were interested in seeing if her presence could do something good for the team. 

Against France, not only that Raducanu did well, but she was the main reason why they managed to clinch a win and seal a BJK Cup Finals ticket. 

“Emma was in a bubble. I think you could see that from the way she approached each point. And, you know, as loud as the crowd were, as tough as everything was out there, she handled herself incredibly well and showed so much grit and determination," Keothavong said of Raducanu.

Emma Raducanu and Anne Keothavong
Emma Raducanu and Anne Keothavong© Getty Images Sport - Aurelien Meunier
 

After everything that happened against France, it is pretty safe to say that when the time comes for the BJK Cup Finals in Seville in November, Raducanu will play unless she suffers an injury or some setback that would not allow her to play.

Emma Raducanu
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