Emma Raducanu, 18, will return to competitive tennis action at the Indian Wells Masters in California next week following her sensational US Open heroics
The teenager wouldn’t have expected to make too much of an impression at Flushing Meadows after reaching the main draw as a qualifier, but she went on a stellar run which ended with her lifting the trophy in front of an adoring crowd at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Since then Raducanu has enjoyed some time off, spending time with her family back in Bromley after deciding to pull out of the Chicago Fall Classic.
Her newfound fame saw her invited to the Met Gala fundraiser while still in New York, before a red carpet appearance at the premiere of the latest James Bond film No Time To Die.
Getty Images for LTA)
She picked up her racket again for a few practice games with the Duchess of Cambridge at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre, but has now fully stepped up her preparations for a return to competitive action.
Raducanu posted a video on her social media pages showing her taking part in a high-intensity drill, alongside the simple caption: “Nothing beats this #work.”
The 18-year-old will return to competitive tennis at the Indian Wells Masters next week – the biggest event left on the calendar this season.
While she didn’t qualify automatically – seeding for the event was confirmed before her US Open heroics which pushed her up the world rankings – Raducanu has been handed a wildcard spot.
After that event, the teen has also signed up to take part in Moscow’s Kremlin Cup before heading to her father’s homeland of Romania to compete in the Transylvania Open in Cluj-Napoca, close to where her grandmother lives in Bucharest.
“I am extremely excited to play at the Transylvania Open, in front of Romanian fans,” she told Actualdecluj.ro.
“My father is from Romania, so to participate for the first time in a WTA competition in the country where he was born is a special moment and I can’t wait to get to Cluj.”
All this will be preparation for the next Grand Slam on the calendar, January’s Australian Open.
Big things are expected there of the world number 22 after her New York performances, but she was quick to play down any talk of her being a favourite to lift the title in Melbourne.
“If I’m seeded, then I’m seeded, but favourite? I think one tournament, you can’t really say I’m a favourite,” she said.
She continued: “I’m still so new to everything. I just feel like I’m learning and absorbing all the knowledge that I’m gaining like a sponge and soaking it all in.
“That’s what I really want to do. I’m not focused on results, I’m focused on how much I can learn because that’s what’s really going to drive me forward.”