US Open champion Emma Raducanu is finally on the board on the WTA Tour after three previous first-round defeats; the teenager from Bromley in Kent will next take on home favourite Ana Bogdan in the last 16 of the Transylvania Open on Thursday
Last Updated: 27/10/21 1:35pm
Emma Raducanu said tasting victory on the WTA Tour for the first time since her stunning US Open success “means a lot” to her.
Playing in just her second match since her fairy-tale victory as a qualifier at the US Open, the 18-year-old has finally been able to end the anomaly of being a Grand Slam champion without a win on the WTA Tour.
In just Raducanu’s fourth tournament at this level and after three previous first-round defeats she finally got on the board, beating Polona Hercog behind closed doors at the Transylvanian Open in Cluj.
She said: “It feels like a huge win, it is my first WTA Tour win which makes me very happy.
“It was difficult for me but I feel to win my first WTA match does mean a lot because I was on a losing streak, so I got my first one. I am really pleased to have come through that today.
“It definitely means a lot, it’s my first win, I knew that in my head so I was battling really hard to get on the board. To play in Romania, I had amazing support so they definitely helped me.
“It is a shame there aren’t fans here but I hope they were watching and I just wanted to do them proud.”
Raducanu, who had previously struggled to find anywhere near the level she showed in New York, allowed her talent to shine through in the deciding set as she sealed a memorable victory with her Romanian father watching on from her box.
She added: “I think the key was to try and stay mentally composed, I knew myself I wasn’t playing very well so I just needed to keep going one point at a time, if I kept giving myself a chance by holding serve I thought my tennis
might improve and fall into place and I did – and I am really proud of myself for how I fought today.
“I take a lot from this match today. All of the matches I am playing I am gaining experience and I definitely feel that one counts huge because when you are not playing very well you know you can do better, and just pull yourself through.
“Also dropping the first set hasn’t happened to me very often so far but I have learned about digging in and that I can turn matches around and that is a big learning thing for me.”