Emma Raducanu Says Social Media Break Helped Her Indian Wells Preparation - UBITENNIS
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Emma Raducanu Says Social Media Break Helped Her Indian Wells Preparation

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Image via BNP Paribas Open Twitter

It is hard to avoid social media in the modern world but Emma Raducanu has taken action to do just that. 

Heading into this week’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the former US Open champion conducted her usual training routines with her team. Then away from the court, she decided it was time to take a break from the online world by deleting her Whatsapp and Instagram apps from her phone. The idea behind her decision is to zoom in on her thoughts instead of taking notes of what others might be saying about her. 

“After AO (Australian Open) I deleted WhatsApp and Instagram off my phone and after that, I’ve been living under my own little rock,” Raducanu said following her first round match on Wednesday.  “I felt like sometimes you go through patches where you just want to zone in on yourself and I was very content with my life without it. I’ve learned regardless of what you do, if you do good, if you do bad, people are going to come at you regardless.”

Since bursting onto the Tour back in 2021, Raducanu’s popularity has rocketed. On Instagram, she has a social media following of 2.5M which is more than double that of the world’s No.1 female player, Iga Swiatek. She also has 656.4K followers on Twitter. Forbes Magazine estimates that Raducanu’s endorsement deals are currently worth in the region of $18M. 

Whilst she has enjoyed success online and commercially, on the court it has been a different story. Troubled by various setbacks Raducanu hasn’t contested a Tour final since winning the 2021 US Open. This year she has already been hampered by a rolled ankle, a bout of tonsillitis and most recently the recurrence of a wrist injury that troubled her towards the end of last year. 

Despite the physical setbacks, the former top-20 star impressed in her opening match in Indian Wells by defeating Danka Kovinic 6-2, 6-3. A player who is currently ranked 15 places higher than her at 62nd in the world. 

“I know last time (at the 2022 Australian Open) was a real battle. It was three sets and today I was just like I’m going to be aggressive,” Raducanu said. “I took some things that worked last time and really tried to dominate where I could.”

Admitting that she isn’t fully 100 percent, there are questions about how Raducanu’s body might hold up as the tournament progresses. Earlier this week she was seen training with support on both of her wrists. However, this adversity is only adding fuel to the fire. 

“I just love competing even when (things are) against you and fighting through it,” she said. “Having something that you are going through gives you something, more incentive to be aggressive to really cling on to and use. I think I found a way to use it as much as I can.”

Raducanu will play Poland’s Magda Linette in the second round. Linette reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open earlier this year before losing to eventual champion Aryna Sabalenka. 

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing

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Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Russian World No.78 Elina Avanesyan To Switch Nationalities

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Image via https://x.com/WTAMeridaOpen/

A week after losing her fourth round match at the French Open, a government minister has confirmed that Elina Avanesyan is in the process of changing the nationality of who she plays for. 

The 21-year-old is switching her aligence from Russia to Armenia, according to Armenia’s deputy Minister of International Affairs and communication. Karen Giloyan has told the news agency Armenpress that Avanesyan will soon be representing his country. However, the tennis player has yet to comment on the matter.  Avanesyan was born in Russia but has Armenian parents.

“Elina Avanesyan will compete under the Armenian flag, but there is nothing official yet. We are waiting for her to get the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia so that everything will be official,” Giloyan told Armenpress.

Such a development would be a massive coup for the Armenian tennis federation which currently doesn’t have a player ranked inside the top 500 on either the men’s or women’s Tour. The country has a population of less than 3M. Perhaps their best-known player is Sargis Sargsian who reached the top 40 back in 2004. Others on the Tour also have Armenian heritage but don’t represent the country such as Karen Khachanov.  

Avanesyan is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is 18 places below her career high. This season, she has scored high-profile wins over Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open, Ons Jabeur in Charleston and Qinwen Zhang at the French Open. 

She has yet to play in the final of a WTA tournament.

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Iga Looks To Be In A league All to Herself At Paris

Iga Swiatek claimed her fourth Roland Garros title in Paris.

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(@Eurosport - Twitter)

Just call her Iga. No other identification is needed.

As the years go by, Iga’s notoriety is sure to grow.

She’s probably already earned a spot in tennis’ Hall of Fame.

Yes, Iga Swiatek is a name to remember. A hero in her native Poland, a superstar in the world of sports.

IGA WAS JUST TOO GOOD

Iga just added to her stardom Saturday with an impressive 6-2, 6-1 victory over little-known Italian Jasmine Paolini to win her third straight French Open title. This was Paolini’s chance to make a name for herself, but she didn’t have the game to make it happen.

Iga was just too good. She made it look too easy.

Paolini could hit some great ground strokes, but when she looked up a bigger shot was on its way back. Iga doesn’t look like a power hitter, but she is.

WINNING 10 CONSECUTIVE GAMES

The 23-year-old Polish Wonder finished the first set winning five straight games, then started the second set winning five more games in succession. The 28-year-old Paolini didn’t seem to have a clue on how to upend Swiatek.

It took just 78 minutes for Iga to win her fifth Grand Slam title.

She’s a lot like her French Open hero, Rafa Nadal.

She takes every match seriously.

SWIATEK OWNS THE RED CLAY

No wonder Iga owns a 35-2 record at Roland Garos. Or that she has won 21 straight matches. Or that she owns a 5-0 record in Grand Slam finals.

She only dominated opponents, except for Naomi Osaka in the second round. Swiatek escaped a match point in that one and didn’t look back.

Iga’s game should be just as superb on the green grass of upcoming Wimbledon.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.

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