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U.S. Open champ Emma Raducanu downplays wrist ailment

Sportsnaut
Aug 18, 2022; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Emma Raducanu (GBR) returns a shot during her match against Jessica Pegula (USA) at the Western & Southern Open at the at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Defending U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu dealt with a right wrist injury during Friday’s practice session but downplayed the issue when she met with reporters.

Raducanu twice halted her session — once in tears — as she continually had troubles with the wrist.

Raducanu said it wasn’t a serious injury and that it won’t affect her when she opens defense of her title against Alize Cornet of France on Tuesday.

“It was one of those blips where you don’t know what is going on,” Raducanu said during the press conference. “I can’t really explain it, just one of those days when you have certain small things that are niggling away.”

The 19-year-old Brit came out of nowhere last year, making the field during qualifying and then going on a sterling run to capture one of the most prestigious events in the sport.

Seeded 11th this year, Raducanu said she doesn’t feel pressure to defend the crown.

“I think you guys are thinking probably more about pressure and ranking than me,” Raducanu said. “I think defending a title is just something that the press makes up. I’m just taking it one match at a time. Every single player is very capable in this draw. I just focus on what I’m doing, my own trajectory.

“As I said last year, I’m just going to do things my way.”

Raducanu said she is happy to be back at the place where she went from a relative unknown to an overnight sensation.

“It’s really nice to be back in New York,” Raducanu said. “It’s great for me to come here having done a year on the tour, having played most of the tournaments.

“I’m really happy with what I’ve done this year and how I’ve come out of certain situations. I’ve obviously got amazing memories in New York.”

Raducanu didn’t do well in the other Grand Slam events following her big win in New York. She lost in the second round of each of the three.

She lost in three sets to Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in the Australian Open, fell in three sets to Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus in the French Open and was beaten in straight sets by Caroline Garcia of France at Wimbledon.

–Field Level Media