Emma Raducanu revealed she felt “tired and lethargic” after a crushing 57-minute defeat to a fellow teenager at the Transylvania Open.
And the US Open champion admitted the last six months, including Wimbledon, her remarkable New York triumph and instant stardom, have caught up with her.
The Bromley teenager made 41 unforced errors – including seven double faults – as she went down 6-2 6-2 to world No.55 Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine. She was broken four times, including in the opening game.
And the British No.1 admitted: “It was a tough match for me. I wasn’t physically feeling 100%. I was quite tired and lethargic today, but like sometimes you just have those days where you don’t feel your best. I knew straight away from practice this morning – I was very, very limited in what I could do. I did try my best but I just really was very, very lethargic on the court.”
Raducanu got to her hotel at 3am last Saturday morning after a late-night Wizz Air flight and has been the centre of attention in her father Ian’s homeland. She did win her first ever matches on the regular WTA Tour to reach the quarter-finals. But this is the 18-year-old’s second heavy defeat – she lost at the Indian Wells Masters to world No.100 Aliaksandra Sasnovich – since Flushing Meadows.
Emma Raducanu falls again to old foe Marta Kostyuk who ‘destroyed’ her in juniors
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“I think it’s just the last six months,” she explained.
“It’s been a lot of learnings and I think I’ve experienced a lot in the last six months with not so many gaps, and I’m just adapting to the fast-paced life of the tour and obviously still very new to it. So I think it’s still going to take me some time to adjust. I am looking forward to a holiday when it comes!”
But Raducanu, who hinted she was close to appointing a new coach, still intends to play a final event this season at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz next month.
“I want to give myself a chance to see if I can reset and bounce back and finish strong,” she said. “That’s the plan right now.”
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Raducanu will miss a dream semi-final with her idol Simona Halep on Saturday – and said she now wants the Romanian to win the title. But last night she was undecided about visiting her paternal grandmother Niculina in Bucharest because of Covid 19. “I want to protect her,” she said.
Before this defeat, the world No.23 had recalled she had been “destroyed” in her last meeting with Kostyuk in a junior match in Belgium in 2015 when she was just 12.
Kostyuk, who is now 19, said: “When I read her comments after her match yesterday, it gave me some strength. I don’t remember killing her and I saw that our record was 1-1. She remembered it and I thought: ‘I have to go with it’. I think I did pretty well.”
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