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Emma Raducanu has said that she is “finding out a lot” about herself as she continues to play without a full-time coach.
The US Open winner split with German coach Torben Beltz last month and has begun the clay court season without a replacement in place.
Ahead of a meeting with Bianca Andreescu in the first round in Rome, Raducanu revealed that she was enjoying time on her own and learning about how best to manage her game.
“I’d describe myself as a loner,” Raducanu said. “For the past year... I’ve had a lot of people around me a lot and very often.
“To be on my own is interesting because I’m kind of finding out a lot about myself, understanding what I need and what I don’t need.”
The 19-year-old was coached by Nigel Sears during her breakthrough major tournament debut at Wimbledon last summer, before Andrew Richardson guided the British teenager to a remarkable maiden Grand Slam triumph in New York in September.
Raducanu has struggled with a series of injury and illness set-backs since the US Open win, exiting in the second round of the Australian Open after being hampered by blisters.
She is currently managing a back injury suffered in Madrid.
Involvement in the Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers last month gave Raducanu her first professional exposure to clay court tennis, and the British number one still feels as if she is getting up to speed with the surface with a week to go until the start of the year’s second major at Roland Garros.
“Clay is very new to me,’ Raducanu explained.
“I definitely feel like I have been progressing with each week, improving, getting a better understanding of how to play points, when to stay in the point or when to stay aggressive.
“I don’t think I’m like the finished product at all. But, yeah, I’m heading in a good direction.”