Emma Raducanu, the BBC sports personality of the year, believes it to be critical for young players to block out what others are saying in response to criticism. The 19-year-old breakthrough star has had a year full of power and glory, winning the US Open, as well as pursuing a variety of off-court ventures. However, she says that playing matches is where she feels the most comfortable.
Raducanu had one of the most remarkable breakthrough years in professional sports history in 2021, winning the US Open as a qualifier, which had never been done before. In a short of months, she has gone from being unknown to being a global name, thanks to the win, and her equally stunning run to the fourth round of Wimbledon last summer.
Despite the glory, she has had obstacles, on and off-court, but in an interview with glamour magazines, she has addressed how to power through the inevitable setbacks.
She said: “I think that the challenge that younger players may face is getting disheartened by a few losses in a row – that’s something that every successful tennis player has gone through. But it’s important to keep strong and stay in your own lane really, and kind of zone out from what everyone else may think or say, and just keep believing in yourself.”
‘You’re in a real battle on court, fighting for every point’: Raducanu
Raducanu further revealed her trust in herself and the role of self-belief in an individual sport like tennis. She added that she implies this thinking in her day-to-day lifestyle too.
“It doesn’t matter what level you’re at – if you keep losing a few matches, it can be easy to get disheartened, but personally I just know that I’m doing the right things,” she said.
“I trust myself – and that everything will come together in the end. I think that self-belief is really important because tennis is such an individual sport and you’re out there on your own competing and fighting for every point. I think that’s something that I take into all aspects of life.”
Despite the challenges of growing up in the spotlight, the Bromley native believes that she is the most powerful on the court. She said: “I know it’s just me and myself out there [on the match court]. That’s probably the moment where I feel like I’m most in control. I like that there’s a sense of uncertainty, but you have the control over yourself – so you’re in a real battle then, fighting for every point.”
Raducanu shared photos of her detour in Singapore on her way back to Europe on Friday, with the blisters on her hand that afflicted her during her second-round Australian Open defeat to Danka Kovinic still apparent. She will next play the WTA 250 event in Guadalajara where she will be the top seed.