Emma Raducanu pointed to her recent two-week training routine in London as the overriding factor in shaping her Indian Wells form after securing an impressive victory over Beatriz Haddad Maia in three sets in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The 20-year-old was made to work hard to progress into the fourth round after dropping the second set but showed great determination to fight back and set up a high-profile meeting with top-ranked player Iga Swiatek on Wednesday.
Raducanu managed to make the perfect start to proceedings against Haddad Maia by claiming the opening set but was knocked back in the second, with her Brazilian opponent going on to cruise into a third-set lead before the young Brit turned on the style under pressure. Her victory marked one of the most impressive of her fledgling career and she insisted after the match that her recent training camp in London worked wonders in giving her the platform to recapture her very best form.
“For me, it’s pretty amazing,” said Raducanu. “I haven’t really prepared for this tournament, I haven’t really practiced. To come out here and play at this level and be competitive is a great sign for me.
“I did put two great weeks back home in London. To see those coming through and showing on the match court at crucial points sometimes is really exciting for me.”
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Raducanu finally appears to be nearing a return to her very best after a difficult 18-month period since winning the US Open back in 2021 and has managed to stave off the threat of further injuries thus far, although she will face her biggest test at Indian Wells in the next round against the world’s top-ranked player in Swiatek.
It remains to be seen how she will fare against the dominant force in women’s tennis but another display of steely determination could stand her in good stead to cause another upset after digging deep to overcome the challenge posed by Haddad Maia, who recently rose from outside the world’s top 80 to her current ranking of 13th thanks to a stellar 2022 campaign.
“I’m extremely happy with the way I fought and dug in [during] the third set,” added Raducanu. “I dropped my intensity a little bit in the second and against such a great opponent like Beatriz, that’s enough. It’s a 6-2 set before you know it. I was really happy with how I managed to regain my focus and intensity, and come back in the third.”
Swiatek, meanwhile, was recently warned that she is not invincible in spite of her status as the world’s best-ranked player by seven-time Grand Slam winner Mats Wilander, who said: “I think the best thing for Swiatek is to be able to approach every surface, every match in the way that she always has, which is: ‘It’s about Iga, but it’s also about my opponent, and I know that I’m one of the best players in the world but nothing is taken for granted. I’ve got to show up’.”
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