Emma Raducanu said she now feels free to ‘start again’ after her US Open title defence ended in an early exit.
The 19-year-old had a fairytale run in New York last year, becoming the first qualifier to ever win a major.
There was to be no repeat this season, though, as a brutally efficient Elize Cornet carved out a fine 6-3, 6-3 win to send Raducanu home early.
Asked if she felt a sense of relief at being freed from the pressure of being US Open champion, Raducanu admitted: “I think in a way, yeah.
“It is a clean slate. I can just start again. I don't know what my ranking will be. Probably pretty low down.
“With perspective, actually as a 19-year-old, I've had not a bad year. To be top hundred, if you told me that a year ago, I'd take it.
“But, like, I think it would be nice in a way to kind of just start over, start fresh. I mean, off the court, I don't think it will make much of a difference, to be honest.”
Understandably, though, Raducanu’s greatest feeling was one of disappointment, especially to go out so early and deny herself a longer run at what she describes as ‘her favourite tournament.’
“Well, I mean, obviously really disappointing, really sad to leave here,” Raducanu said.
“Yeah, I mean, in a way the target will be off my back slightly. Yeah, I just have another chance to claw my way back up there.
“I've been doing some really good work in the last six weeks especially. Yeah, just looking forward to kind of putting more of those weeks together consistently, then we'll see what happens.”
Raducanu came into the tournament as world number 11, but three quarters of her points were the 2000 she won at the US Open last year.
As a result of this early exit, she will drop outside of the world top 80.
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