British No 1 Emma Raducanu will return to Romanian next month as she has once again signed up for the Transylvania Open.
The teenager played in the inaugural WTA 250 tournament last year, just weeks after her remarkable US Open win as a qualifier stunned the sporting world.
Still on a high after her Flushing Meadows success, Raducanu reached the quarter-final at her first attempt in Cluj-Napoca before going down against sixth seed Marta Kostyuk in straight sets.
She will be hoping for a deeper run when she returns for the event from October 10 at BT Arena.
“I had a really fun time last year in Cluj. The people were amazing and made me feel so, so welcomed,” Raducanu said. “So, I’m really excited and happy to say that I’m coming back again this year.
“Whenever I can, I love to go back to Romania, that’s where my dad came from. I have so many positive and happy memories from there so I am really looking forward to coming back. See you soon.”
The 19-year-old will head to Cluj in a different frame of mind this year as she is coming off a difficult season as her form has dropped while she has had health problems and struggled with injury.
Her US Open title defence came to an end in the first round last month as she lost in straight sets against Alize Cornet. She slumped to No 83 in the WTA Rankings on the back of that New York defeat.
Although disappointed by her exit, Raducanu promised to start building again and move back up the rankings by competing in smaller WTA events, and hopefully win another tournament.
“Obviously it would have been great to defend the title,” she said. “But I want new experiences. In a way I’ve kind of done that, so I want another tournament. It doesn’t really matter what it is. I think any player would be happy to win a tournament.”
And she made her return at the “smaller” WTA 250 Slovenia Open on Monday, seeded No 1 she moved into the second round after Dayana Yastremska retired while 6-2, 5-3 down.
The British No 1, who is yet to win three matches in a row since her title success at Flushing Meadows, will face qualifier Anna-Lena Friedsam in the second round on Thursday.
Raducanu will remain the No 1-ranked British player despite her results in Slovenia as her closest challenger, Harriet Dart lost in the first round against Tereza Martincova in Portoroz.
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