Portoroz | Raducanu returns to action

British No 1 Emma Raducanu embarks on her journey of ‘new experiences’ at the WTA 250 event in Portoroz, Slovenia, next week, where she has accepted a wild-card entry and is the top seed.

Regardless of what it is, it sounds weird, but, US Open defending champion, obviously it would have been great to defend the title, but I want new experiences. In a way I’ve done that, so I want another tournament. It doesn’t really matter what it is. I think any player would be happy to win a tournament. I think it makes a massive difference no matter what the level is. Emma Raducanu

Having failed to defend her US Open title, falling at the hands of Alizé Cornet in the 1st-round in New York, Raducanu decided to add an extra tournament to her calendar.

The event in Portoroz has a relatively strong field, with Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, last year’s French Open winner Barbora Krejcikova and the in-form Beatriz Haddad Maia from Brazil all in the draw.

The 19-year-old is the No 1 seed for the event by virtue of the entry list based on the WTA Rankings from 29 August, despite the fact that Raducanu is about to fall from 11th to around 83 when the list is published on Monday, 13 September.

“It’s a clean slate,” Raducanu told the press in New York. “I’m going to drop down the rankings. Climb my way back up.

“The most exciting thing is trying to do well at each of the different tournaments.

“Regardless of what it is, it sounds weird, but, US Open defending champion, obviously it would have been great to defend the title, but I want new experiences.

“In a way I’ve done that, so I want another tournament. It doesn’t really matter what it is.

“I think any player would be happy to win a tournament. I think it makes a massive difference no matter what the level is.”


Emma Raducanu failed to defend her US Open title and will drop in the rankings but is eager to climb her way back

© Julian Finney/Getty Images

Raducanu has yet to win 3 matches in a row on the WTA Tour since her success in New York last year, but the good news is that she now does not have too many points to defend for the remainder of the year as she only won two matches after her US Open title.

After Portoroz, Raducanu is due to head to Asia for the Korea Open, which begins on 19 September.

Raducanu is expected to continue working with her, so far, temporary coach Dmitry Tursunov, although she has yet to confirm any such arrangement.

“We had a good six weeks in the States here,” said Raducanu after her defeat by Cornet. “But I haven’t really thought about it.”

Tursunov previously had success as a coach with Anett Kontaveit and US Open semi-finalist Aryna Sabalenka, whom he guided to the top 10 in an on-off partnership lasting two years.


Beatriz Haddad Maia is the No 2 seed at Portoroz next week in a quality field at the WTA 250 event

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Like Raducanu, Krejcikova and Rybakina will head to Portoroz in a bid to rediscover their major-winning form.

Krejcikova was sidelined for 3 months due to an elbow injury this year and, since returning at Roland Garros, the Czech’s record is 7-10, having fallen in the 2nd-round of the US Open to Aleksandra Krunic.

Since winning Wimbledon, Rybakina has gone 4-4, and exited the US Open in the 1st-round to Clara Burel.

The Portoroz field will also feature three in-form players who have all won back-to-back tournaments within the past 4 months, including Haddad Maia, who broke through on grass, winning Nottingham and Birmingham, then backed that up with her first WTA 1000 final in Toronto to soar into the Top 20.

American Bernarda Pera dominated the post-Wimbledon clay swing, collecting trophies in Budapest and Hamburg, while Liudmila Samsonova put together a 13-match winning streak on American hard courts, winning Washington and Cleveland before reaching the 4th-round of the US Open.

Defending champion Jasmine Paolini from Italy, who captured her maiden Hologic WTA Tour title here last year, will also return, while other notable names in the field include Frenchwomen Cornet and Clara Tauson as well as Marta Kostyuk from Ukraine.

The home squad will be led by Strasbourg finalist Kaja Juvan and former Roland Garros semi-finalist Tamara Zidansek.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Heather Dart and Jodie Burrage are both competing in the qualifying rounds for places in the main draw.




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