Emma Raducanu: From Indian Wells shocker to positive mindset

Written by Staff Writer

Emma Raducanu said she was left “shaking” and “angry” after she exited the Indian Wells tournament this weekend in the first round, but the Czech said she needed to cut herself some slack after the surprising defeat.

“I am frustrated and there are no excuses,” Raducanu told CNN after her 7-6 (5), 6-4 loss to Bulgarian teenager Viktoria Kuzmova.

“Of course I am frustrated that I lost against a player who won her first career match here in the tournament.”

Nevertheless, the Czech Olympian put a positive spin on the defeat, which was her first on the WTA Tour, blaming her poor first serve for the surprise loss.

“I could have served better. That is the first one because I was serving well all week. It could have changed the scoreline a little bit. But whatever, it is still a shame to lose,” she said.

Emma Raducanu says the blow to her confidence was huge after Indian Wells defeat.

But Raducanu said she was set to turn the loss into a positive going forward.

“I have to learn from this moment and carry that energy and that respect that I got from Indian Wells. It was more of a mental setback than anything.”

The 26-year-old Czech blamed the loss on a late change in her tactics.

“During the second set, I was trying to do things that I don’t like,” she said. “I thought ‘oh my God, I am leaving a lot of the returns in,’ so I was maybe a little bit too aggressive.

“So I felt like I could have done things to adjust, and I tried to switch my strategy, which I didn’t know about. I was really confused on my strategy, and that’s why it’s disappointing.”

Instead of focusing on her own game, Raducanu said she needed to spend more time observing her opponent.

“The first set was really close, really close, and sometimes I should have fixed the things I didn’t do, and that was a good opportunity to know my opponent. We talked about it and we both did our homework, so maybe I would be able to do more shots, be more aggressive in the second set, so it could have changed the score,” she said.

Kuzmova’s stunning victory was her first over a WTA top 10 player in her home country of Bulgaria.

Emma Raducanu paid tribute to Bulgarian opponent Viktoria Kuzmova

“She has a very hard forehand and a very quick serve. It’s tricky,” Raducanu said. “It’s a pleasure to play against such a player.”

Kuzmova described her victory as a “dream come true.”

“I dreamed about this moment since I was a little girl,” she said. “I think my coach was happy also because when I lost in the first round at a lot of Grand Slams, that was the first time he took me out of the moment, and I think he was happy this time because I took some time to enjoy the moment.”

Raducanu described the experience as “a wonderful tournament for me to be here in the opening round. I was so focused on this moment, and it was a wonderful experience for me,” she said.

The Bulgarian teen thanked the fans and her family for her support, and said she hadn’t completely given up hope of playing in next year’s French Open.

“I don’t know. But this was really, really good for me because it helps me to always visualize that I can play in the French Open.”

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