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US Open 2021 tennis – ‘I have nothing to lose’ – Emma Raducanu savouring ‘free swing’ at US Open

US Open 2021 tennis - 'I have nothing to lose' - Emma Raducanu savouring 'free swing' at US Open


Emma Raducanu says she doesn’t “feel any pressure” and is relishing the chance to have a “free swing” at the US Open after winning on her main-draw debut.

The 18-year-old Brit followed up her impressive run at Wimbledon with a straight-sets victory over Stefanie Vogele in the opening round in New York.

Raducanu, who came through qualifying to reach the main draw, needed just one hour and 18 minutes to beat her more experienced opponent.

“I feel like I am learning so much,” she said. “Being around these players and hitting with them, I feel like I am absorbing it all, so I don’t feel any pressure. It is all a free swing and bonus for me because I don’t have anything to lose.

“Still everything is so new to me and I just love New York, the buzz and everything. Walking around the city, it is such an amazing experience. I am just enjoying it and I want to stay here as long as possible so I will keep fighting.”


Raducanu, who is ranked No 150 in the world, raced through the opening set against Vogele in 27 minutes.

She was pushed harder in the second set but eventually booked her place in the next round on her seventh match point.

The result was even more impressive given that 24 hours earlier Raducanu had expected to be facing a different opponent. American 13th seed Jennifer Brady was set to be a tricky test for Raducanu, but she withdrew due to injury and Vogele took her place in the draw.

“I was very up for my match against Brady, we were on the Louis Armstrong Stadium and I was looking forward to being on the big stage again,” said Raducanu.


“At the last minute I heard I was playing Vogele, so I had to prep last minute but I was just focused on my game and what I could control. I felt I served very well which helped me settle into the match and I got some cheap points.

“I think it is obviously a difficult thing to serve out your first US Open main-draw win, so that lack of experience probably showed a bit at the end. My right arm was feeling a bit heavy but I was happy to get over line. Overall I thought I played a good match, with a high level.”

Raducanu will next face China’s Zhang Shuai for the second time in a month. The pair met at the Silicon Valley Classic at the start of August, with Shuai winning in straight sets.

“I know Zhang, we speak quite a lot in Mandarin whenever we see each other,” said Raducanu, whose mother is Chinese.

Raducanu has ‘great chance’ of another run at Flushing Meadows


“We got on well and she is a great player. I played her in San Jose, it was my first game on the hard courts. I am going into it this time with the learning from our first one. Hopefully it can be a good rematch and I feel I have come quite far with my game since.

“I have played four matches at the US Open and I’m feeling very comfortable here in the conditions, I feel I have acclimatised well due to the few weeks I have had in the States.

“I don’t think you can compare any two tournaments because there are so many different variables but I’m enjoying my time here.”

Raducanu is the only British woman left in the draw after Johanna Konta withdrew and Harriet Dart was beaten in the first round by Caroline Garcia.


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