Emma Raducanu says she is prepared to “start over” and work back her way back to the top if she falls down the WTA Tour rankings after the US Open.
Raducanu, 19, will be defending 2,040 points at the final Grand Slam of the year after sensationally coming through qualifying to win the tournament last year. Without those points she would currently be ranked outside the top 90.
Given her inconsistent form so far this season it seems unlikely that Raducanu will make another deep run in New York.
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However, speaking after her first-round win over qualifier Louisa Chirico at the Citi Open, she said: “I think that no matter what I said, I probably did have certain expectations of myself that were probably a bit twisted. And now I genuinely just accept it.
“OK, it’s not going to be pretty necessarily or easy, but I’m 100 per cent OK for starting over, to be honest. If my ranking plummets to like 1000 or whatever, then I don’t care.
“I think that I feel more wiser now compared to just after the US Open and the beginning of this year. I know that being a US Open champ I’m going to somehow pull my way back up there.
“It’s going to take a bit of time maybe, but I’m just really accepting of that and looking forward to whatever journey it takes.”
Raducanu is 9-12 in singles matches this season and has been hampered by several injury issues.
She has been working this week on a trial basis with Russian coach Dmitry Tursunov, who helped current world No. 2 Anett Kontaveit to break into the top 10 last year.
Reflecting on her performance against Chirico, Raducanu said: “I think I definitely had moments in the match today where I was playing good tennis, but I was nervous in the beginning, for sure. I think playing any first round is always pretty challenging.
“Then when you’re not necessarily that match-sharp, small things you don’t necessarily get right. It’s just important to stay calm.”
Raducanu will next face Colombia's Camila Osorio as she looks to make just her second quarter-final of the season.
The world No.10 lost serve just once against Chirico while converting four of her 10 break points.
She says she is looking to keep her composure better in future matches.
“I think that’s something I can do better going forward in this tournament," the Briton admitted. "Hopefully in the next round, because there were some moments I was slightly agitated, but I definitely regrouped and found a way through in the end.”
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