US Open: Emma Raducanu dismisses pressure on title defence as Brit ‘starts from scratch’ in New York

·1-min read
US Open: Emma Raducanu dismisses pressure on title defence as Brit ‘starts from scratch’ in New York

Emma Raducanu says she feels no added pressure as the defending US Open champion and goes into her first-round match tonight “starting from scratch”.

A year ago, the teenager stunned New York as she came through the qualifying rounds to win the title in only her second Grand Slam. And despite the spotlight being on her, No11 seed Raducanu is adamant she goes into her opening match against Alize Cornet without undue pressure.

“You’re just starting from scratch,” said the 19-year-old. “I need to discard any pressures there are from the outside. You face the person in front of you. I know people will want to beat me, but I’ve got to stay on it and stay super focused.

“I think you guys are thinking more about pressure and ranking than me. I think defending a title is just something that the press makes up. I’m just taking it one match at a time.”

In Pictures | US Open 2022

Serena Williams (AP)
Serena Williams (AP)
Emma Raducanu (Getty Images)
Emma Raducanu (Getty Images)
Andy Murray (Getty Images)
Andy Murray (Getty Images)
Bella Hadid and her boyfriend Marc Kalman (AFP via Getty Images)
Bella Hadid and her boyfriend Marc Kalman (AFP via Getty Images)
Harriet Dart (Getty Images)
Harriet Dart (Getty Images)
Nick Kyrgios (REUTERS)
Nick Kyrgios (REUTERS)
Coco Gauf (Getty Images)
Coco Gauf (Getty Images)
Serena Williams, of the United States, talks with her daughter Olympia and husband Alexis Ohanian after defeating Danka Kovinic, of Montenegro (AP)
Serena Williams, of the United States, talks with her daughter Olympia and husband Alexis Ohanian after defeating Danka Kovinic, of Montenegro (AP)
Serena Williams (Getty Images)
Serena Williams (Getty Images)
Billie Jean King (REUTERS)
Billie Jean King (REUTERS)
Kyle Edmund (Getty Images)
Kyle Edmund (Getty Images)

Whatever the outcome, Raducanu said of her title a year ago: “Nobody will take it off me.”

The teenager will hope to join a raft of other Britons into the second round, after victories for Andy Murray, Harriet Dart and Jack Draper on the opening day of action.

Murray beat No24 seed Francisco Cerundolo 7-5, 6-3, 6-3, while Dart saw off No10 seed Daria Kasatkina 7-6, 1-6, 6-3 and Draper beat Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.