Emma Raducanu has dismissed parallels between her stunning breakthrough at the 2021 US Open and Iga Swiatek bursting onto the scene at the 2020 French Open.
The Brit will face the world No. 1 later on Friday in the Stuttgart Open quarter-finals after winning back-to-back matches for the first time since October.
Bizarrely, despite her shock run to the title in New York, this will be Raducanu’s first match against a top-10 opponent.
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Swiatek has taken over at the top of the women’s game following the shock retirement of Ashleigh Barty in March. The Pole defied the odds to win at Roland Garros without dropping a set in 2020 – a feat Raducanu one-upped a year later at the US Open by doing the same as a qualifier.
Speaking ahead of their meeting, Raducanu said that her sudden arrival on the WTA Tour did not mirror that of Swiatek.
“I wouldn’t say so to be honest,” she told Eurosport when asked if their breakthroughs were similar.
“Iga had been playing on the tour a lot longer [when she won the French Open].
“I feel she had a lot more experience in matches and had been playing full-time for a lot longer whereas I was in exam halls until last summer.
“I didn’t really play many competitions. This is my first full year where I’m playing tournaments in back-to-back weeks.
“It’s all a learning curve for me but we’re both young and hopefully we’ll be playing again in the future.”
Raducanu has seen off Storm Sanders and Tamara Korpatsch to reach the last eight in Stuttgart on clay, but her match against Swiatek will arguably be the biggest test yet of her career – facing the world’s top player on their favoured surface.
“Of course it’s impressive what she’s achieved,” said Raducanu.
“She’s in great form and No. 1 in the world. So I feel like for me there’s no expectations, no pressure.
“I’m just going to go out there and swing because I feel like clay isn’t exactly labelled as ‘my surface’ but I get to take her on.
“It’s going to be a challenge for sure but one I’m looking forward to.”
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