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Hitting sliced forehands because of a painful blister on her right hand during loss in Melbourne has given Emma Raducanu ideas of how she wants to develop her game over the next couple of months in preparation for Indian Wells in March; “I definitely think that the variety helps”
Last Updated: 21/01/22 1:29pm
Emma Raducanu is keen to learn from her Australian Open defeat with the British No 1 determined to add an “element of surprise” to her game in preparation for Indian Wells in March.
The teenager’s wild ride at the Grand Slams continued as she attempted to slice her way through a bizarre clash with Danka Kovinic because of a painful blister on her right hand.
She may have been beaten 6-4 4-6 6-3 in the end, but Raducanu was able to show that competitive nous is one of her biggest strengths and she will see it as another good step on her tennis journey.
“I did discover elements of my game I didn’t know I had before, and I can use that going forward,” said Raducanu, who is set to rise from her current ranking of 18, potentially into the top 15.
“I just know that I’ve got that fight in me. Even if I have got one shot, I know that I can pull myself out of deep situations.
“Because I’m still young, I feel like I can learn a backhand, I can learn some tactics, but it’s quite hard to learn or teach someone that fight and grittiness to hang in there when things are pretty much all against you. So I’m quite proud of that.”
Ashleigh Barty deploys a wide variety of shots in her game, possibly more so than any other player on the WTA Tour. And Raducanu hopes she can weave in a similar strategy to her all-court game, which she believes will help her develop faster and become a better player.
“I definitely think that the variety helps. I think that maybe some of the girls aren’t used to it,” she said.
“That was probably an element of surprise for my opponent today who wasn’t expecting me to be doing that. It was pretty effective, so if I can mix that with my aggressive game style, I think that would be a really good and dangerous combination going forward.”
The British No 1 admits discovering shots she never knew she had during her second-round exit against Montenegro’s Kovinic – the world No 98.
“I was struggling with my hand before the match. There were some people in my team that maybe didn’t want me to play but I wanted to go out there and fight through it, see how far I could get,” Raducanu said.
“But I thought it was a pretty good learning experience for me. I discovered tools about myself and my game that I didn’t know I had before so I can take some positives even from this match.”
What’s next for Raducanu?
The 19-year-old expects the blister to heal quickly and, once back home, she will focus on completing the block of training and fitness work that was cut short by her Covid-19 diagnosis last month.
She will work alongside her German coach, Torben Beltz, in preparation for the prestigious Indian Wells tournament in March which she is focussed on.
But first Raducanu has indicated she could play warm-up events in Mexico or the Middle East later next month.
There are tournaments in Dubai (February 14-19) and Doha (February 20-26) before the WTA season heads to Guadalajara (February 21-27) followed by Monterrey (February 28-6 March) but Raducanu is mulling over where to travel.
“I want to try and do as much of catch-up as possible in terms of like fitness and my pre-season, because I missed it actually in December. So try and do a bit of work there,” she said.
“There is not much time, but, there are some tournaments in Mexico or the Middle East before Indian Wells.”
Raducanu spoke to Sky News presenter Jacquie Beltrao about her fairytale in New York and her aims for 2022
Further down the line there’s the possibility she could lead Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup team for their away tie against Czech Republic in the qualifiers for the 2022 finals.
The tie will take place on 15-16 April in Prague.