“Now I just look at everything as a lesson and I know exactly where I went wrong…” the 12th ranked WTA player Emma Raducanu says of her last match at Roland Garros. She’s made her debut at the French grand slam among a lot of fanfare and was excited to show she’s not a one-dimensional, one grand slam player.
The 19-year-old Brit made it through the opening round defeating Czech player Linda Noskova in a three set win of 6-7, 7-5, 6-1. It was encouraging emotionally as Raducanu arrived to the second round but left with unsuccessful results. She battled against the Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich in a less competitive 3-setter of 6-3, 1-6, 1-6 which sent the Brit once again packing her rackets and ending her trek at the French Open. At the beginning Emma showed a great performance of passing shots, down-the-lines and cross courts that brought out the Raducanu everyone yearns to see. But as the match went on the spirit, intensity and successful shots seem to have faded.
Many can’t get a handle on why the bubbly Brit hasn’t been able to go deep in tournaments since her Open title. There are many tangibles probably Emma is dealing with since defeating Leylah Fernandez at the Arthur Ashe Stadium last year. After being the Open champ, thee is much expected from a 19-year-old that she’s having difficulty accomplishing. The idea of going deep in tournaments, she has not. Sponsors want her to represent their brand and she’s gladly did. Opponents want to get a chance at playing and maybe defeating her, which has happened all too frequently. The competition is grueling and physically hard on Raducanu’s body showing more wear and injury with constant tough opponents. There’s been blisters on her hands and feet. Just recently she’s had back problems that caused her to retire from her match with Canada’s Bianca Andreescu and withdrawal of the entire Italian Open. Despite this the young Brit has had a few coaching chances that may have sent her game out of sync for a time. Torben Beltz, her present coach has separated after five months on her team. The first was Nigel Sears and then Andrew Richardson who’s seen her throughher 2021 Open title. Emma is now appealing to the LTA’s (Lawn Tennis Association) head of coaching, Iain Bates.
Timing isn’t on Emma Raducanu’s side because being on tour soon another important event arrives, putting her into more of a tailspin on hoping to perform with the highest quality. The Roland Garros crowds were for her rather than Sasnovich, but it didn’t appear to help her from defeat on the Court Suzanne Lenglen stadium a bit. It’s becoming more difficult to watch especially as Raducanu’s game starts to fizzle.
Emma’s comments to everyone was to give her time to get her game together. She also pleaded for confidence that things will get much better. But these suggestions may be growing slightly thin on seeing that the Brit is still struggling at many events to win matches. She’s shown small amounts of great shot performances but her fans want and yearn to see the entree of lovely shotmaking and winning they feel Emma can do. The question is not if she can perform with successful results, but when will it happen? This is what makes fans as well as Emma Raducanu probably grow more impatient but yearn for more as each tournament comes around.