Emma Raducanu plays on Tuesday in the first round of the Transylvania Open
Emma Raducanu has called for "patience", as she aims to "move on" from her US Open triumph and establish herself on the women’s tour.
Six weeks on from her fairytale in New York, Raducanu is still adjusting to life as one of the most recognisable faces in British sport. Though she has already racked up a number of lucrative endorsement deals with major fashion brands, walked red carpets on two continents and mingled with royalty, on the court she insists she has much left to learn.
On Tuesday she will play her second match since the US Open and is hoping to bounce back from losing at Indian Wells to Aliaksandra Sasnovich earlier this month. Her first-round tie at the Transylvania Open, against world No 123 Polona Hercog will be only her eighth match at WTA level outside of the majors, and she wants to put the brakes on any expectations for more immediate success.
"I don’t think there is any pressure on me," she said, speaking ahead of the tournament in Cluj-Napoca. "I feel like everyone should just be a little patient with me. I am going to find my tennis, I just need a little bit of time. But I am really enjoying it.
“I have a lot of confidence in myself. I know it will be a different journey. New York was a great experience but I am trying to look ahead. You just need to move on. It was great while it lasted but now I am looking ahead and I want to get better. The exciting thing is I still feel I have a lot of room to improve.”
It is easy to forget Raducanu only made her debut on the tour in June at Nottingham and lost her first matches at three out of the four WTA events she has played so far in her career.
Her status as a newly-crowned major champion ramped her up from 150th to 23rd in the world rankings, and she says she has missed many of the milestones others aim for as newbies on the tour.
"Although things have happened rather fast, I am learning a lot," she said. "The biggest thing is to be patient with myself because basically from my rankings, I skipped a bunch of girls I learned with. Normally you work your way in, play your way into the game. There are a lot of lows, where you learn about your game. You adjust to each level gradually. I kind of went from zero to the top of the game. So, it’s obviously going to take some time to adjust and adapt but hopefully with some good work, I will be able to do that. I am learning to accept it is not so smooth."
At the inaugural Transylvania Open she will get more practice against top players. Despite being a relatively small-time 250 event, there are six top 50 players in the draw, including two-time major winner Simona Halep, who Raducanu may well meet in the semi-final if she gets that far.
In other news on Monday, the LTA announced four out of five players for the British Davis Cup team, with Andy Murray notably absent. Though there is still scope for him to be added at a later date, he said at Indian Wells that he did not feel in a position to play the team event next month.
Indian Wells champion Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans and Neal Skupski are on the team to face France and Czech Republic in the group stages in Austria, while US Open mixed and men’s doubles champion Joe Salisbury will make his debut for Great Britain.