Emma Raducanu's confession on why she had 'horrible' time at 2023 Wimbledon

Last year, Raducanu didn't play at Wimbledon but made a brief stop to fulfill some sponsorship obligations.

by Dzevad Mesic
Emma Raducanu's confession on why she had 'horrible' time at 2023 Wimbledon
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Emma Raducanu was all smiling during last year's Wimbledon but she actually had "a horrible time" because just being a visitor wasn't that satisfying for the British tennis star. 

In early 2023 May, Raducanu announced her decision to surgically address both wrist injuries and her left ankle injury. That move instantly ended Raducanu's hopes of competing at Wimbledon but she did make an appearance at The Championships last year because she had some sponsorship obligations. 

During her time at The All England Club last year, Raducanu shot some ads for Evian - met with kids - and also had a chance to greet and have a little conversation with The Princess of Wales. 

Compared to 12 months ago, it is a completely different situation now as the 21-year-old Briton is fully healthy and set for her third Wimbledon main draw appearance. 

“I was horrible. Like, it was horrible! I’m just so grateful to be on the other side of it. I think going there was really rubbing salt into the wound but I guess it was part of my obligations to do it and I’m just very happy to be actually playing,” Raducanu said. 

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Michael Regan

Raducanu reveals what changed compared to the last time she played at Wimbledon

Before having surgeries and being sidelined for seven months, Raducanu was evidently struggling mentally and physically as not-so-great results and constant criticism were impacting him. And in some of her interviews, the Briton even started suggesting that she would have preferred not to have won the 2021 US Open. 

However, during her time away, Raducanu was able to sit back - think well about the entire situation - and start thinking only positively about her historic run at Flushing Meadows. 

“I think it’s refreshing for me, it’s less about missing out, it’s more about, OK, I’m just happy to play. Because I feel like before I would look at the US Open in more of a negative light whereas now I’m like, OK, that was insane.

“Now I can just play and keep going, and I feel lighter in myself, which is great, and I think in the last two weeks it’s been a big shift in just my attitude, my everyday and I’m just enjoying life, enjoying tennis a lot more.”

When Raducanu enters the court for her Wimbledon first-round match against Ekaterina Alexandrova, she hopes that fans will see a completely version of her compared to the last time she competed at The Championships.

“I just really want them to see that I’m putting my ­personality on the court, my ­character, being bubbly, happy, ­energetic. I think you can really tell the difference, especially with me, when I’m in a good place compared to when I’m struggling a little bit more with confidence or something," Raducanu explained.

“And now I want them to see I’m happy – certain engagement in the points in big moments, like I remember 2021 was a prime ­example. I won the point, I thought it was a practice, I dropped my racket and I was like, how did that fly out of my hand? But just moments like that, I’m just really playing the game and enjoying the sport.”

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Charlie Crowhurst

Raducanu details why her partnership with coach Nick Cavaday has been a success

After changing five different coaches between 2021 and 2023, Raducanu made a surprise move in the offseason when she decided to hire her childhood coach Cavaday instead of some big coaching name. And seven months since hiring Cavaday, Raducanu has made improvements in her game and there were never any indications that she was unhappy with her current coach or thinking about making a change. 

Now, the former world No. 10 has explained why working with Cavaday suits her well. 

‘I’m really happy with my team, my coach. Very pleased with the fitness guys at the LTA, the physio, as well and Nick. He’s made a lot of good additions to my game and it’s nice to have someone I’ve known since I was a kid. We understand each other - and not many people do understand the way I think. It’s good how we can be on the same page in a lot of conversations," Raducanu said.

Emma Raducanu and Nick Cavaday
Emma Raducanu and Nick Cavaday © Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Meanwhile, Raducanu was handed a tough first-round matchup in her Wimbledon return since Alexandrova has two titles on grass and she is definitely someone who can play well on the fastest tennis surface. But if Raducanu - who was a semifinalist in Nottingham - plays her game, she will definitely feel well about her chances of making a winning start.

Emma Raducanu Wimbledon