September 4, 2021
New York, New York, USA
E. RADUCANU/S. Sorribes Tormo
THE MODERATOR: Just give us your thoughts on today's match.
EMMA RADUCANU: I thought I played a very good match today. I mean, from the beginning I knew that Sara was an extremely difficult opponent, she's going to make a lot of balls and not make many mistakes at all. I knew I had to hit through her. Yeah, I had to work so hard for every single point. Even, despite the score, there were a lot of deuce games that could have gone either way.
I'm just really, really happy to be able to come through that.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. She's been on such a great run this year, had fantastic results. Did it surprise maybe surprise you the way you went through her or did you have the confidence that you showed?
EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, she's been in great form. I can definitely tell why, because she's such a tricky opponent to play. I kind of went out there with nothing to lose, and just knew that if I was going to win or have a shot of winning that I was going to have to dominate and hit the corners as many times as possible and not miss.
I managed to execute today, so, yeah, I'm really pleased.
Q. You joked at Wimbledon not liking to run during points, it's not your favorite thing to do on court. You had a lot of long rallies today. What was your comfort level with longer exchanges with a player like that?
EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, definitely, I was fully prepared mentally to go into the match and have to face a lot of long rallies and points. Just through her sheer athleticism, she can get to so many balls and make it an extremely consistent and physical battle.
But having played like four, five weeks on the tour now, I think that with each week I'm getting more and more accustomed to the physical demands of playing at this level. Yeah, I think I'm improving.
At this Grand Slam you get a day off in between to recover. It definitely helps the body. Yeah, I'll be fresh for Monday.
Q. What's your level of freshness now, feeling ready but having a lot of matches in the last few days, qualifying? Are you tired or good to go?
EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, honestly after having like three days off after qualifying and then one day off in between, I feel like really good in my body physically. The only thing -- and also, the other thing is having so many matches, you just feel so confident going onto the court in your game. With each game I think I've got my ball strike.
Yeah, I'm excited to see what Monday brings.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about what you have been doing with Andrew and how that's working, what he's brought to you. You go back some way with him, don't you?
EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, I mean, Andrew is a very good coach. He is extremely experienced having played himself. He knows the ins of the game and what it takes to perform as a player from a player's perspective. He's very good at instilling the fundamentals into my game and just making me realize like doing the basics to a really good level is going to take you a long way.
And he's also a very, like, calming character. So sometimes if I'm getting intense or, like, too fired up or expect too much from myself, he's very, very good at just, you know, relaxing me and, like, reassuring me.
I'm really glad to be working with him.
Q. Did you have a good chemistry when you worked with him at age 11, 12?
EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, I worked with him for two years when I was younger, so it meant a lot to be able to work with him again. I'm just really glad that, you know, he has taken time away from his family to be able to travel with me. It really means a lot that he's willing to do that just to be on tour with me.
Q. I just wondered, people say when they watch you for the first time, Oh, she plays with a smile on her face, looks like she's really enjoying it out there. Do you think your personality matches up really well with the sort of energy of the crowd here? It's very different in New York. Do you think that brings out the best in you?
EMMA RADUCANU: There is definitely a lot more going on in New York than like at Wimbledon, for example. Like everything is just dead silent at Wimbledon when you're playing, but here there is a lot more going on.
I think they are both different in their own ways, but I mean, I enjoy the crowd just as much. Like their support helps me so much. I really enjoy playing, and I think that when I'm playing my best is when I'm having fun and smiling. That's when the best tennis comes out, and sometimes shots that you never expect to make, they come off the strings and they happen.
So I think a bit of it is just having fun on the court. Yeah, also just enjoying the moment. Like it's not every day that you get to play your first point in the second week. Yeah, I think that showed in my tennis today.
Q. I'm curious how different does this week feel compared to Wimbledon?
EMMA RADUCANU: Well, I think that my level of tennis here, I have to say from my own perspective, I think I'm playing better tennis here than at Wimbledon. Of course being on the hard courts, they're less forgiving than grass.
But honestly, I think with the amount of matches I have played and the experience that I have accumulated in the last four, five weeks, my game is just getting better with each match.
But, yeah, I mean, the crowd has just been absolutely amazing still. I think they are both completely different experiences, so you can't really compare, but both, I mean, I love both of them. Excited to keep going here for as long as possible.
Q. Is there anything, going back to last year, two years ago, that helped prepare you for playing in front of thousands of people, answering questions from journalists, being on television, all of which you seem to be handling with a lot of poise? What do you owe that to?
EMMA RADUCANU: Well, I think the last year and a half really I haven't competed much, so nothing has entirely prepared me for playing in front of many, many people. But I think that by not playing I just realize the hunger and determination to be out there. It's definitely like once you're out and you just want to keep going and stay as long as possible.
I think it's the desire and hunger to just stay. I'm extremely fresh. I haven't really played on tour for the whole entire year. This whole experience is just so new to me. I think it's the enjoyment factor that I'm getting.
Q. Yesterday 18-year-old Carlos had that great win over Tsitsipas and then 18-year-old Fernandez had her great win. Now you are continuing your run. Sort of similar to what you were just talking about, but talk about being 18 on the tour. Does it ever seem a little unreal to you? Does it seem special? Is it something magical for you?
EMMA RADUCANU: I think that to have so many young players coming through is just really great for the game, because it just shows how strong this next generation is. I think that having so many young players and 18-year-olds, I think we all inspire each other to play better. Because like for me today, I wanted to join them in the second week as well, so that was an extra bit of motivation (smiling).
Yeah, both of them, they are very, very nice people. I'm very happy for them, and also very happy for myself that I can also go into the second week.
Q. Can we just say for the sake of argument that Ashleigh Barty wins tonight, if it were to be Ashleigh, can you remember like watching her win the French Open a couple years ago? Do you think you'll be a bit different in the way it feels to play somebody who that's level up? I know you have played a lot of good players but nobody quite in her league.
EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, well, the match hasn't even started yet, and Shelby is playing on her home crowd, so it's very tough to say who is going to win. I think not playing in front of your home crowd you have a different level of motivation.
I'm honestly ready to play whoever it is. If it were to be Ash Barty, she's No. 1 in the world, to be able to play the best player in the world is honestly just like why you play tennis. I will just be able to compare my game, compare my level. Yeah, see what happens really.
But I'm pretty motivated for any situation that I'm thrown into.
Q. As you say, we don't know who you're going to play next, but just on Ash, how do you see her game? What do you see are maybe her strengths that are different to other players that you have played so far?
EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, I think Ash being No. 1 in the world, you have to have many strengths. You know, she brings something -- she doesn't play your typical like fast, flat. She has the ability to mix things up with a slice backhand, with a great forehand and serve.
Yeah, I don't really want to make any assumptions as to who is going to win, but again, as I said, I'm ready to play whoever.
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