Emma Raducanu brushed aside talk of pressure after a straight-set loss against Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia. Unable to cope with Garcia’s ferocious hitting, the US Open Champion and British no. 1 folded 6-3, 6-3 in front of a frenzied Centre Court. After her surprise win at Flushing Meadows, the teenager has struggled to hit the same heights. Fielding questions in the post-match press conference, the 10th seed refused to feed the critics:
“There’s no pressure. Like, why is there any pressure? I’m still 19. It’s a joke. I literally won a Slam. Yes, I have had attention. But I’m a Slam champion, so no one’s going to take that away from me. If anything, the pressure is on those who haven’t done that,” quotes Tennis 365.
Working without a coach and bogged down by injuries, the effervescent Emma cited the lack of match practice as a potential reason for her early exit:
“I didn’t feel anything out there,” she said. “I declared myself fully fit when I walked out onto the court on the first day. But I’ve played seven hours of tennis in a month. To even compete with these girls at this level and win a round I think is a pretty good achievement.”
While digging for positives, Raducanu was gracious enough to admit that Garcia had been bested her in all departments.
“Obviously it’s tough to lose any match but I think that Caroline played a great match. She is a great player. I struggled to find a way through her today. But it’s okay because, coming into this, I didn’t really have many expectations of myself. Playing on Centre Court again was a really positive experience for me.”
At only nineteen, Raducanu will be richer for the experience. With the North American hard-court season to follow after Wimbledon, the Briton has ample time to get her game straight before the season’s final Major.