Emma Raducanu says ‘something was off’ before US Open win and injury still not healed

Emma Raducanu: Croft reveals advice for tennis star and her team

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Emma Raducanu has revealed she thought ‘something was off’ before her US Open final victory over Leylah Fernandez last weekend. The Brit won 6-4, 6-3 to win her first Grand Slam. And she’s now opened up on the experience in an interview with BBC Breakfast.

Raducanu was sublime at the US Open, winning the tournament without dropping a single set.

The teenager, 18, has now become one of the poster girls for British sport in the wake of her sensational triumph at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Many are tipping Raducanu for a bright future, with the youngster now expected to consistently challenge for the biggest honours in the sport.

And, speaking to BBC Breakfast, she’s now elaborated on how she felt.

Raducanu revealed the victory is only just beginning to sink in – but admitted she found rewatching the match tough because of its surreal nature.

She said: “Yeah I think it’s gradually sinking in a bit more because last night I rewatched the final, tried to relive a couple of moments and how it felt.

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“So it is sinking in a little bit more.

“But it’s still such a whirlwind of an experience. It’s something that’s very difficult to fully comprehend.”

When grilled on whether she had butterflies after rewatching the final, and asked if she watched it forensically, she added: “When I was watching it, it almost feels like that’s not me who’s playing.

“It feels like it’s someone else.

“But I knew exactly what was going to happen and still, it’s got some very tense moments and rematching it I’m very proud of how I came through some tough moments.

“And the time-out at the end, I didn’t realise how stressful that was on TV.”

Raducanu also explained her nerves before the match against Fernandez, admitting she felt ‘something was off’.

“It means a lot, so thanks to everybody who watched me and supported me,” she said.

“For me, the most important thing was to stay relaxed in the moment because there was a lot of stake in the final.

“It’s very important not to get ahead of yourself and treat every shot one at a time.

“Before the match, I was nervous. I felt like something was a little bit off and I couldn’t put my finger on what that was.

“I think that’s just usual nerves, because of the occasion.

“But then, once I got on the court, I treated it like every other match and focused on the plan I was going to execute.”

And, on her knee injury which temporarily saw the final halted so she could get treatment to stop the bleeding, she admitted ‘it is still an open wound’.

Raducanu’s US Open triumph came just months after she’d been criticised by John McEnroe for struggling under pressure.

But the controversial American has stood by his comments, saying: “I meant exactly what I said.

“I tried to relate it in a small way to my experience when I first went to Wimbledon also at 18.

“She did better than I did. I played Jimmy Connors, I hadn’t been on the Centre Court and I remember my legs shaking, feeling totally overwhelmed by the experience and almost happy that I didn’t win.

“Subsequently I went to Stanford for a year and had some time to sort of regroup mentally and prepare for the rigours of the tour.

“There’s a lot of great upsides, but there’s also pressure you put on yourself and expectations others put on you.

“I mean that was to me as vanilla as it comes … I was very supportive of her, I thought, at the time.

“You know the papers over in England. Sometimes, they make a big deal out of nothing.”

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