Emma Raducanu gives verdict after Iga Swiatek loss and reveals what will be one of her ‘biggest assets’

Emma Raducanu takes a break Credit: Alamy
Emma Raducanu takes a break Credit: Alamy

Emma Raducanu gave an honest assessment of her performance and fitness following her heavy defeat to Iga Swiatek at the Indian Wells Open.

After stringing together arguably her best run of matches since winning the 2021 US Open, Raducanu’s journey at the WTA Masters 1000 event came to end on Tuesday as she went down in straight sets against a “ruthless” Swiatek in the fourth round.

The British No 1 struggled in the build-up to the tournament as she was still recovering from a bout of tonsillitis, but she defeated Danka Kovinic and seeds Magda Linette and Beatriz Haddad Maia before coming up against the world’s best player.

“I think especially because of where I was before this tournament, didn’t think I would even play, to be honest. But to have played and then won three rounds and beaten two amazing opponents, yeah, I’m very proud of myself,” the 20-year-old said.

Swiatek was always going to be a tough nut to crack and it proved to be the case as the world No 1 claimed a 6-3, 6-1 victory.

Raducanu admits she is well off the three-time Grand Slam winner’s level, saying: “I saw a taste of the level where No 1 is at physically and how she is at the corners, repetitive, relentless. Yeah, I just couldn’t take that.”

She added: “Overall I feel like physically she is much further ahead than I am at this moment. I think I was able to stay competitive at the beginning of the first set, and then I think the first three games took over 20 minutes.

“We were having some pretty epic rallies and I think my defence got better.”

Asked what her current level is compared to the top players, Raducanu replied: “I’d honestly say like 35 per cent.”

The 20-year-old has had several injury and health problems after the past year as she has struggled with muscle, wrist and ankle injuries and also had to deal with blisters, Covid and recently tonsillitis.

And those setbacks have contributed to her inability to improve her fitness, but Raducanu is confident once she is 100% her fitness will improve and she will turn into “one of the best athletes on the tour”.

She added: “Yeah, like when I’m telling you I haven’t trained, like I haven’t trained.

“Physically I feel like that’s going to be one of my biggest assets. My team has spoken about it. I think that I’m going to be, like, one of the best athletes on the tour, and that’s going to be a big part of my game.”

Things are definitely starting to look up.

“I would say there is a very long way to go, but I’m definitely starting the right work now,” she said.

Raducanu added: “I think it’s been a good 10 days. I haven’t trained particularly much before the tournament, but I feel like I’ll probably take a day to recover tomorrow physically, because since the tournament started, I have done a little bit of something every day. Just to reset a bit mentally and physically tomorrow, and then, yeah, take it from there.”

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