Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Novak Djokovic saga distracts audience from ‘great tennis’, US Open winner Emma Radukanu

Emma Radakanu says the Novak Djokovic visa saga is distracting viewers from ‘great tennis’.

Djokovic has revoked his Australia visa for the second time and is currently being held in custody ahead of a federal court hearing on Sunday.
His story has been making headlines around the world, even as former British number one Andy Murray reached his first ATP Finals since 2019.

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And Radukanu believes that the episode is detracting from the actual tennis stories happening in Australia at the moment.

“I think the situation has taken a bit off the great tennis that happened this summer,” she said.

“For example, Andy Murray, I think it’s just incredible to see him come back and play so well.”

Andy Murray lost his final but UK fans now have Radukanu representing the country at the highest level.

Expectations are high after winning the US Open in the summer, but Radukanu insists she doesn’t feel the pressure ahead of her first Grand Slam appearance since then.

“I feel like there’s really no pressure on me,” she said. “I think I’m happy to be here and swing. I had to go through a few hurdles to play here, so I just want to go out there and have fun and enjoy myself on the court.”

“I would say the biggest challenge is to be patient. I’m a perfectionist. Whether it’s practice, whether it’s off the court, I want to be the best at all times. Sometimes that’s not very feasible.

I just need to rest. As long as the trend is in an uptrend, just a matter of small ups and downs, I think I can be proud. Whatever the challenge, I am ready to face it now.”

She faced a tough start at the Australian Open on Tuesday alongside 2017 US Open winner and former world number three Sloane Stephens.

“I remember watching that match and it was an up and down match and it was every tough in the third set,” Radukanu said in the 2017 US Open final. “I remember she fell and banged her head. I’ve watched her grow up and feel I take inspiration from her play and movement.

“I think I have similar qualities in terms of being mentally strong and resilient.”

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