Emma Raducanu said everyone might have a week or two per season when everything goes their way and admitted she was lucky enough to have three such weeks during the 2021 US Open. Last year, Raducanu stunningly became the first qualifier in tennis history to win a Grand Slam.
Over three weeks, Raducanu won 10 matches - all in straight sets. “There were times for sure that I was coming out with some outrageous shots," Raducanu said, per Tennis Majors. “Sometimes in your career you feel like everything is automatic, you can go for whatever shot you want and it’s going to land.
Those weeks don’t come by very often. You might have one or two a year. For me, I was lucky that I had three like pretty much when it mattered really."
Raducanu: It's not that everything was perfect
In the US Open qualifying second round, Raducanu claimed a 6-3 7-5 victory over 247th-ranked Mariam Bolkvadze.
In the US Open last-16, Raducanu saw off Shelby Rogers 6-2 6-1. On paper, it looks like two routine straight-set wins for Raducanu. But Raducanu admitted those were the matches where she didn't feel like she played her best.
“I wasn’t always playing perfect tennis. Like in my qualifying, I remember scrapping through some, my second-round qualifying match (against Bolkvadze), and in my fourth round, I remember I was so nervous in the first set and didn’t necessarily feel like I was playing great, but it’s definitely a lot about holding your nerve on those sort of matches in big courts," Raducanu added.
The US Open starts on August 29 and Raducanu returns as the defending champion. For Raducanu, there is a big difference of how she will be arriving to New York this year. Last year, Raducanu went to New York without any expectations, just hoping to make it past the qualifying and make her US Open debut. Now, all the attention will be on how she does in her US Open return.