Emma Raducanu leaves Australian Open early! We were all shocked and disappointed for Emma following her three set defeat to Danka Kovinic early in Round 2 of the Australian Open 2022. So what were the reasons for her loss and how can we all learn from them?
Emma Raducanu leaves Australian Open early
Emma started her latest Grand Slam in Australia with a strong and determined approach to dealing with American Sloane Stephens, winning 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 and set about establishing her calm, methodical approach to her games. However, despite a strong opening match, she paid the heavy price for her 21 days without tennis due to illness. Her right hand, damaged with blisters, sadly was going to play a fundamental part in her exit in the very next round.
Her 2nd round opponent was 27 years old Danka Kovinic from Montenegro (SR 98) who had also taken three sets to eliminate South Korean S.Jang, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in R1. Emma, seeded 17, was a little unlucky to not get the break of serve in the opening game. Game 4 of the opening set was the changing point for Emma following a double fault and three unforced errors. It was clear at this stage her blisters were having a massive impact on her play. She was unable to recover the drop of serve and lost the 1st set 4-6.
The second set saw her come back to level the sets 1-1, with a 6-4 win. Sadly history repeated itself in the 3rd set, when Emma dropped her serve in Game 4, leading to a final loss 3-6 and an early exit from her Australian Open 2022.
How can we all learn from Emma’s experience?
Emma has been very pragmatic about her loss, the experience will help her strive for more success in future competitions. She has realised at this level the importance of continuity of play. The 21 days during which she was ill affected her whole preparation for this tournament. “You have to be in it every week. Be really focused”. “I have no regrets going on court with blister injuries…”
So how can we capitalise from this experience? We must keep healthy so that we can train the correct number of hours each week to prepare ourselves for competitions. Diet and nutrition play a very important role in an athlete’s life as they assist in the preparation for big sporting events to minimise the risks of illness and injuries.
Emma’s realisation of the commitment to daily training helps us to understand the preparation we need to commit to in order to become champions and stay at the top of our chosen game.
She admitted “It’s definitely a lot of work to stay at the top!” She could have withdrawn from the competition after Round 1 but as she said, “After Covid, flying out here (Australia), fighting back from the previous week’s loss, I wanted to give it all I had”.
In summary, our Zoe Alexander players have learnt the following:-
- Daily training is important, be it conditioning or playing
- A healthy lifestyle with a good nutritional diet is a factor
- Identify what caused your loss so that you can work on your weaknesses
- Take a loss as an opportunity to excel in the future