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Rafa Nadal, inspiration for Raducanu

Emma Raducanu came to his debut in Wimbledon 2022 immersed in a sea of ​​doubts. On the one hand, all the non-sports noise that a figure of his impact has generated, with the usual critical voices and those who only question his state of form and possibilities; on the other, the physical problems that forced her to withdraw from it in Nottingham and that deprived her of any preparation event for the English Major. However, Emma surprised even herself with a very solid, mature performance, which ended in a very convincing win over Alison Van Uytvanck. It was the British’s first match on Center Court at Wimbledon, and it caused her emotions to flow smoothly in a Press conference in which Raducanu undressed his feelings.

His first game and victory in the Central

“It’s been an incredible experience. It was my first time here. From the moment I walked through the entrance I could feel the energy and the support from the crowd, everyone supported me from the first minute. I’ve tried to savor every point today. I’ve played every point as if this was my last match on this court. When I finished, my cry wasn’t relief, it was happiness. Winning your first match on Center Court at Wimbledon is impressive. Every time I come back here, I know that I’ve had a great first experience, and that helps. It’s been a tough match, because Alison is a great opponent. She hits the ball very flat and very low, which fits like a glove on this surface. I knew I had to play very well today, and I’m happy to have imposed myself in the important moments”.

Were you able to play with low expectations, as you expressed in the tournament preview?

“Yes, I haven’t played tennis for two weeks and this week I’ve only trained for an hour a day, so my preparation hasn’t been the best. However, I know I can fire up when it comes to matches. No I feel like I need too much preparation, I do need it from a physical point of view, but a lot of this sport is mental, and today I came out on the track believing in myself. I know I can compete against anyone when I go for it.”

He arrived at the press conference with a polo shirt with the Rafa Nadal logo

“I think Rafa is the personification of the fight, of that type of energy. That’s something I want to have in every game. At the energy level I’ve had a pretty complicated year, it’s no secret, but it’s all worth it. victories like today, on Center Court. I am very happy to be here: all the lessons I received last year can only help me for the future”.

Wimbledon, a possible turning point this season

“Well, I only won the first round (laughs). I feel a positive energy, no doubt. How can you not like playing here? Just by taking a walk you feel the positive energy. This last year I have learned many things, but not everything has necessarily been bad. I’ve won my first match at every Grand Slam. As someone who’s only 19 years old, it’s as if I’m starting all over again on the tour now. If last year hadn’t happened, I think any 19-year-old I would live a game on Center Court as a very positive experience. And it has been, and that’s what I felt today”.

Victories in all the Grand Slams, do you find your best level in these tournaments?

“I would say that the big matches and the big events are what make me more motivated. It’s a different feeling, yes. I love playing on these types of courts. Instead of getting smaller, it’s something that fills me with adrenaline. It’s important to get through these first rounds, as they’re always difficult. Today there was that feeling of never having played here, at the Central, so it was very important to win. I hope I can continue at this level in my next game”.

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