May 20, 2022
THE MODERATOR: How are you finding your time here in Paris?
EMMA RADUCANU: I am enjoying my time so far here, just been practicing. I practiced last night and got a gym session in this morning because of the rain. Yeah, I'm very happy to be here.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. Last time we saw you, it was unfortunate to pull out of Rome. How are you physically and what tweaks and things have you done since that particular match?
EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, I'm learning about my body, for sure, but I'm very happy to be continuing my preparations for the French Open and to be able to play this tournament and fortunately I didn't have to miss this Grand Slam.
Yeah, that is definitely, you know, a really positive thing that I can -- because I really look forward to these big moments and the big tournaments. Yeah, I'm looking forward to continuing.
Q. Was there ever any doubt you would be able to play here or were you just okay after a few days? Did you have to undergo a fitness test or anything?
EMMA RADUCANU: Yes, there was afterwards. It was definitely thrown into question. But, you know, at the end of the day I'm just learning, feeling it out. Yeah, I got the all clear to continue with preparations and see how things go.
Q. On that, have you had to alter or change or, you know, disrupt the load that you would normally want ahead of your preparations for Paris?
EMMA RADUCANU: Well, last week after Rome, the match, I mean, I definitely had to slow down that week, but this week I have, yeah, I have been training and luckily being able to practice all of the shots.
Yeah, I'm looking forward to continuing that, and it feels good to be able to move freely and just like run around. You know, it's quite fun.
But that's it. You know, I have been preparing as normal the last few days.
Q. Obviously you have spoken quite a lot about how you are learning about your body and trying to sort of catch up maybe with some of your peer group. Have you made any kind of headway on trying to assemble a team, a sort of permanent team to look after the sort of, A, physical training side and the physio side?
EMMA RADUCANU: At the moment, I'm traveling, like my physios, I've got Will who is here and Tom, Tom Cornish, who is back home and he traveled with me to Rome. They are definitely looking after me.
I am putting together something like just figuring out what works physically, because that is obviously an element of my game that needs to be looked at.
I think it's been really positive that, you know, the last few days maybe after the back I have definitely been increasing my gym work and I have been doing a lot more in the gym, and it gives me confidence to be able to do that stuff and train, leading up to a tournament.
I'm really looking forward and motivated to keep doing that.
Q. You have come into the French Open with nine matches on clay in the past month. Can you just talk about what you have learned playing on this particular surface, what you learned about yourself and about your game coming into Paris, please.
EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, I have definitely learnt that I can kind of adapt to this surface much faster than I probably thought, and, you know, about how to stay in the point and, you know, I think my movement on defense has also improved a bit.
Just, you know, when to play with spin and when to actually hit it hard. You know, you don't have to always just grind it out. Sometimes you can put your hard court game on a clay court, as well. It's just finding the balance. I think that clay definitely teaches you that.
Q. You're one of the players who relatively has had more success against Iga Swiatek in the last couple of months, who has been unbeaten for a long time now. What do you think it will take for someone to get a win against her when she's playing this well?
EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, obviously she's a great player, but I think one of the things that players probably struggle with against her is her unpredictability. She's got quite small back strokes and then can hit it, and you can't really tell where the ball is going.
But I think that definitely makes it hard. For me, I think in the initial few games it was adjusting to the tempo, you know, that she definitely hits it hard. As soon as you drop one ball, like, three quarters, she's all over it.
So you really can't slip up in that regards.
Q. In your practice yesterday you kind of hit a few dropshots and the crowd were cheering. You have used that quite a bit during the clay season. I'm curious just how you feel about that shot, and how it's developed, have you used it much before or...
EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, I think that something that the clay has taught is how to experiment, play with the ball and the court dimensions. I was just kind of having fun with it, and I love how the crowd gets so involved here. It definitely brings a lot of atmosphere.
I think the dropshot is a pretty good shot to use in the game. You know, especially on clay where people might sit back a little bit. I don't particularly see myself as, you know, like a dropshotter, chipper thing. I just think that what I'm doing is more me experimenting and having fun.
Q. The start of the clay season you were saying you thought that this surface would be one that down the road would be something that was a successful surface for you. So now coming off of the last question with all the matches you have been able to play on it, where are you finding that that success could be, and also, why did you think that six weeks ago?
EMMA RADUCANU: Well, I think that when I said that six weeks ago, and I still think this, is that I could be a great clay court player, like looking forward, long, medium term, in a few years where I have definitely developed more robustness and I'm able to repeat the same shots over and over.
I think that I have definitely come a long way and probably progressed faster than expected of myself in the last few weeks and I really am enjoying the clay. To be honest, I think I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would. Clay at the beginning kind of was like written off, Oh, it's a clay court, just have a go. But now I really believe that I can be good and faster than I thought it would be.
I'm definitely looking forward for the coming clay court seasons.
Q. You said earlier that you have realized that you can occasionally put your hard court game on a clay court. Is that something that you just realized whilst playing matches, or is that something you had to look back on when you looked back at matches and talked to people that you worked with?
EMMA RADUCANU: I think that in practice you probably drill a bit longer and you probably have longer rallies than a point situation, but I think that it's definitely just coming with match experience. You know, and seeing the other players do it to you, like, if you just try to keep rallying, they'll dictate. I think that's something I also kind of figured out just while playing these few matches on the clay courts.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports