Emma Raducanu reveals thing she rediscovered after it got lost in last few years

Raducanu has issued yet another positive update ahead of Wimbledon.

by Dzevad Mesic
Emma Raducanu reveals thing she rediscovered after it got lost in last few years
© Getty Images Sport - Nathan Stirk

Emma Raducanu is playing this summer with something that was missing for a long time and that's "the light and fire" inside her. 

When the times got hard and Raducanu started to deal with major criticism and constant injuries, it became mentally very tough for the Briton and it impacted her results but also her well-being. But since returning to tennis at the start of this year, the 21-year-old has managed to stay healthy - play well - and that is enough for her to be very happy about her current situation. 

Also, one thing that made Raducanu really happy was reaching the Nottingham semifinal in her return to British grass courts two weeks ago. Now, the 21-year-old Briton is hoping to have a similar run in her debut at a WTA 500 tournament in Eastbourne, where she starts against 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

“I’m just really into it at the moment. I love the sport, I love tennis. It’s kind of just taken over me. I’ve really rekindled a light and a fire inside of me. Just very happy and enjoying it a lot," Raducanu said in Eastbourne.

“I’m just really grateful to have this feeling again because it’s something that I feel like I’ve been missing in a way for the last few years. I haven’t felt this good about my tennis and just excited about it and passionate for a long, long time. I think now it’s really comforting for me, because I’m way less focused on the result because I know, with the way that I’m training and the way that I’m competing and fighting on the court, good things are 100% going to happen."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Nathan Stirk

Raducanu doing better on and off the court

Soon after winning the 2021 US Open, Raducanu's problems started and that's when she started hearing comments and claims that she was just "a one-time Slam wonder" and that she would never again win anything. Struggling on the court but also hearing some pretty harsh criticism led to Raducanu not enjoying tennis as much as she used to.

But three years after her big breakthrough and experiencing the best and the worst sides of tennis, the 21-year-old says she is more mature and now knows how to handle certain situations better. 

“I really feel in a lot better spirits on and off the court. And I think that it’s just showing in my practices and it’s showing in my day to day. I think I’m a lot brighter and bubblier. Someone actually commented the other day: ‘It’s like back to your old self.’ And I would actually say: ‘No, it’s my new self,’ because I have the experiences that I’ve learned from the past me, too. I’m just happy and I like figuring out the challenges because I know there are inevitably going to be some. Just working through that," Raducanu explained. 

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Playing in Great Britain is again joyful for Raducanu

In the summer of 2021, Raducanu was an unknown player to the majority of the tennis world but that was the year when she made the Wimbledon round-of-16 as a wildcard in her debut. That year, Raducanu was one of the best storylines of the tournament and British fans stood up behind her and absolutely loved following her run at The Championships.

But just 12 months later, it was a completely different situation for Raducanu, who was by then one of the most criticized British athletes. And dealing with criticism but also huge, pressure and expectations didn't bring the Briton any good, who retired her Nottingham opener before exiting Wimbledon in the second round. 

Last year, Raducanu missed the grass season after undergoing three surgeries. Now, she is back to the British grass courts and loving it.

"I have a big joy for playing in the UK, I missed it last year, obviously, and it's nice - you kind of forget the feeling," Raducanu added. "I think you would push your body further to play over this period of time.

"I think all of us (British players) really live for it, we come alive, we put our clay shoes in the bin pretty early and then get on the grass. We do push ourselves more for this and understand the implications that may or may not come with it."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Charlie Crowhurst

Against Stephens, Raducanu will like her chances since she made the semifinal in her first grass tournament while the American lost in the Birmingham round-of-16 last week and she hasn't been playing well over the last two months, losing six of her past seven matches.

Emma Raducanu Wimbledon