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U.S. Open champ Emma Raducanu to work on new shots after Australian Open loss?

Yardbarker logo Yardbarker 1/21/2022 Zac Wassink, Yardbarker
Emma Raducanu © Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK Emma Raducanu

Reigning U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu has had a rough start to the season.

She missed out on valuable preparation time ahead of this month's Australian Open due to testing positive for COVID-19 before Christmas, suffered a blowout defeat to Elena Rybakina in her first competitive match of 2022, and then fell to Danka Kovinic in the second round of the year's first Grand Slam after she developed a painful and noticeable blister on her right hand that forced her to alter her shots during the match. 

Per Raz Mirza of Sky Sports, the 19-year-old tennis sensation told reporters she plans to work with coach Torben Beltz on adding new elements to her game as she gets ready for the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March.

"I did discover elements of my game I didn't know I had before, and I can use that going forward," Raducanu acknowledged about her latest on-the-court experience. 

"… Because I'm still young, I feel like I can learn a backhand, I can learn some tactics, but it's quite hard to learn or teach someone that fight and grittiness to hang in there when things are pretty much all against you. So I'm quite proud of that."

She added: 

"I was struggling with my hand before the match. There were some people in my team that maybe didn't want me to play but I wanted to go out there and fight through it, see how far I could get. But I thought it was a pretty good learning experience for me. I discovered tools about myself and my game that I didn't know I had before so I can take some positives even from this match."

Raducanu now plans to first let her blister heal and also work on recovering cardio and fitness lost during her COVID-19 layoff. She could return to action as early as mid-February in Dubai

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