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Emma Raducanu acknowledged she was at the start of her journey after her first match since her Wimbledon heroics ended in defeat in San Jose.
The 18-year-old stole the hearts of the nation when she progressed to the fourth round at SW19 in just her second professional tournament, becoming the youngest Briton to reach that stage in the open era.
A month after her Monday night exit on Court One, where she had to retire against Ajla Tomljanovic due to breathing difficulty, she was back in action in the first round of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.
Kicking off the evening session 👀
— wta (@WTA) August 3, 2021
However, she suffered a 6-3 6-2 loss to China’s 51st-ranked Zhang Shuai in what was just her second WTA Tour match.
And Raducanu knows she has to be patient.
“I am still at the very beginning of my journey so every opportunity I get I am very grateful because I feel like I am constantly learning,” she said.
“On the WTA Tour every match is going to be difficult and there aren’t going to be many good matches.
Not to be for Emma Raducanu at the Silicon Valley Classic
— LTA (@the_LTA) August 3, 2021
“I am at the very beginning, it is my second WTA Tour tournament, I am just learning and it is onwards from here.
“What I learned is how to try and deal with someone when they are playing very well and you feel like you are not doing much wrong but you are constantly on the back foot.
“That is not something I am used to at the levels I have played before. Stepping up to this level, I feel she just dictated me. I didn’t play badly so I am just continuing with the hard work I am doing.
“If I keep going this way at some point it will pay off.”