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Emma Raducanu makes winning return to Britain with exhibition victory


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mma Raducanu made a winning return to Britain as she beat Romanian Elena-Gabriela Ruse at the ATP Champions Tour event at the Royal Albert Hall.

Raducanu was playing on home soil for the first time since her historic US Open triumph in September.

The 19-year-old, who is Britain’s first female grand slam champion in 44 years, took on her friend and hitting partner Ruse in an exhibition match and won 6-3 7-6.

Raducanu said: “It was amazing to play at home in front of everyone. I felt it from the minute I walked out, it was an incredible atmosphere. I really enjoyed playing here.

“I started my pre-season this week, on Tuesday. I have been doing a lot of fitness and not so much tennis, so I was a bit nervous coming out to play in front of everyone.

“It is pretty amazing how everything has changed in one year. It just shows that if you keep plugging away at your own work and staying focused then anything can happen.”

Asked what her plans are now, Raducanu said: “I am doing a training season and working hard on my fitness. And then I am heading out to the Middle East to finish my pre-season, spending Christmas out there and then flying to Australia from the 27th.”

Next year will be Raducanu’s first full one on the main Tour. She added: “For me, my expectations of myself are to keep improving, I want to look back at the end of the year and see that I made gains in different areas.

“I know it will take a lot of patience to get to where I want to be and smooth out that consistency. It’s all about building robustness physically.

“It will be my first calendar year on the tour, it will be a cool experience to play a full schedule. I am looking forward to learning, I am still quite young. We will learn and get better.”


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