Written by Staff Writer
Emma Raducanu speaks to CNN’s Jake Tapper in a new interview for “State of the Union” about her defeat at the Indian Wells Classic in the first round, the insults she received during the match and her future plans.
Although she concedes that the criticisms are “really hurtful,” Raducanu, 22, says she needs to put them aside when considering her future in the sport.
“You need to cut yourself some slack,” the French Open winner said. “I am 22 years old. I’m getting better in the long term. I’m just going to keep fighting.”
Raducanu lost to qualifier Verona Aponte of the United States in the first round of the tournament in California last week. She followed it up with a loss to teenager Taylor Townsend on Sunday.
“I wish I was a different player right now,” she admitted. “I have learned so much from all of this.”
Raducanu is ranked No. 19 in the world and has won one singles title. Her forehand power caused Aponte to crumble, and Raducanu added, “I came close to winning all three matches that I played.”
The criticism ‘all kinds of hurtful’
But while Raducanu concedes there was some need for her to “pick myself up,” the Frenchman says there are more important things to be concerned about right now.
“I’m not in shock. I can’t just ignore what happened. I understand why everyone was surprised because they never saw me losing before,” she told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
“I don’t think it was good. But the only thing that I’m thinking about right now is tomorrow. I think I need to put everything in perspective and then look forward to the French Open and Wimbledon.”
Although Raducanu showed up at Indian Wells with a tan for the tournament, the words of criticism from fans and the media made her feel more “altered” than she has felt at any time in her career.
“(The emails) all kinds of hurtful. Some of them were really nasty. A lot of them were really insulting. I think they have a right to. I think I did the same. I believe I lost the match but I didn’t play a perfect match. It’s not just about the score. I lost to a good player.
“I can handle it. But I don’t think that I should handle it any differently,” she continued. “I know my strengths and my weaknesses. I know what I need to do to get back and to work hard and get better.”
Raducanu insists she will not be seeking advice from Rafael Nadal or other players of her generation in the hopes of improving in the future.
“I don’t need to go to French stars. I’ll get advice from myself,” she said. “I will see what works for me and I’ll try to make sure I do well. I do believe that I can work hard. I am fighting for it.”
Raducanu has already seen the writing on the wall and after celebrating her birthday in London this week is looking forward to defending her French Open title in 2018.
“I think I deserve the French Open and I am quite confident that I will win it,” she said. “I will just keep working.”