2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu says she is “playing completely free again” and that’s a big reason why he was able to claim impressive wins over Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka. Raducanu has been struggling with her game and injuries throughout the season, but this week in Cincinnati she showed some promising signs ahead of the US Open.
After handing a 6-4 6-0 loss to Williams in the Cincinnati first round, Raducanu ousted Azarenka 6-0 6-2. “The biggest thing, however, is me swinging like playing completely free again, not really pushing the ball just to get it in, like I actually am going in for the shot.
Way more accepting of the errors that I make,” Raducanu told Sky Sports.
Raducanu: Playing Williams, Azarenka wasn’t easy
Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, is retiring after this year’s US Open. The Raducanu and Williams match featured a sold out stadium as the locals came to witness one of Williams’ final matches.
Even though Raducanu lost just a total of four games versus Williams, she underlined that it was all but easy playing against the American – who had the whole stadium on her side. “It was a really tricky match and those matches are difficult although it might not seem like it from the outside.
When you know you are playing an amazing champion you know you have to be on it again like the previous match,” Raducanu said. After two big wins, Raducanu’s Cincinnati run ended in the last-16 following a 7-5 6-4 loss versus Jessica Pegula.
Raducanu has played three tournaments leading up to the US Open. Previously, Raducanu reached the Washington quarterfinal and lost in the Toronto first round. Going into the US Open, Raducanu is not considered among top favorites for the title. But Raducanu can definitely play well on hard courts in the United States.