“I’m happy because it’s a clean slate. I will go down the rankings. I climb to go up. The target will be slightly off my back, ”was Emma Raducanu’s lively response during a difficult press conference following her exit from the US Open.
Fall at the first obstacle of a Grand Slam title defense will hurt and hurt for some time, but Raducanu is right because there is life after the US Open and a drop in the WTA rankings.
Her failure to win at Flushing Meadows was anything but a bolt from the blue and the cunning and experienced Alize Cornet can disturb anyone in her day.
Heck, the Frenchwoman knocked out a great champion in each of the four Grand Slams this year by beating Simona Halep at the Australian Open, Jelena Ostapenko at the French Open and Igai Swiatek at Wimbledon.
Losing to Cornet was no disgrace and anyone who watched the match will agree that the teenager did indeed produce a very solid performance, but his opponent was simply better in the important moments.
Raducanu, however, is right when he says “the goal will be slightly off mine”. The “target” you refer to is the feared drop in the WTA rankings and the added pressure of having to defend a major.
In the wake of his tale of the 2021 US Open, Raducanu collected 2,030 points and climbed the leaderboard, eventually reaching career number 10 earlier this year.
Once the points have been removed with the ranking update on 12 September, it is likely that he will find himself at no. 80 with 726 points.
“Especially in the last six weeks I have done a great job. I’m looking forward to putting more of those weeks together consistently, then we’ll see what happens, “she added during her press conference.
“With the prospect, actually at 19, I haven’t had a bad year. To be in the top 100, if you told me a year ago, I would take it. “
It’s definitely not a bad position for a 19-year-old who has only played 29 games this year. And definitely not something to smell when you consider that she is playing in her first full season on the WTA Tour.
Raducanu has only played three tournaments after his success at the US Open last year – losing opening matches in Indian Wells and Linz and falling in the quarter-finals in Transylvania – so he doesn’t have too many points to defend in the remainder of 2022.
What will happen for Emma Raducanu and the WTA Tour program
Although Raducanu has yet to confirm his upcoming events, there are still some big tournaments left with the Pan Pacific Open in Japan, the largest in September as it offers 500 points while there are also 250 smaller events (Slovenia Open, Emilia- Romagna Open, Chennai Open, Korea Open, Tallinn Open).
The Ostrava Open (WTA 500), Southern California Open (WTA 500) and Mexican Open (WTA 1000) all offer big points in October, but Raducanu may very well decide to play the WTA 250 Transylvania Open again.
Obviously she won’t have the convenience of being seeded anymore, so she may be catching a big shot soon, but let’s not forget that a WTA 250 title and a win here and there could see her return to the top 50.
Not many other teens have found themselves in the top 100 after their first full season as a professional player, so she’s right, the glass is half full.
The article Emma Raducanu’s glass is still half full as she begins to make a clean sweep after her exit from the US Open first appeared on Tennis365.com.