There is no need to worry about Emma Raducanu as she still has time on her side, said Katie Swan in her post-match press conference after her first-round win at the WTA250 Chennai Open on Tuesday.
British teenager Raducanu stunned everyone by clinching the US Open title in 2021 but her title defense in 2022 ended in the opening round itself as she lost to Frenchwoman Alize Cornet.
However, 23-year-old Swan, who played with Raducanu for Great Britain in the Billie Jean King Cup tie against Czech Republic in April, said, “Obviously, that’s a difficult result for her, but I don’t think there’s any need to worry about her. She’s going to be fine. She had an unbelievable result last year, but so many players on the tour have great leads and then, they don’t follow up. It’s just a part of the women’s game and she’s an amazing player. She’s so young and she’s got so much time to keep going.”
Speaking about the kind of pressure Raducanu faced from the media post her US Open triumph, Swan said, “ I can’t say I can relate because the amount of fame that she got was just insane. She’s handled it very well. I can’t really imagine what it was like for your life to basically change over a fortnight. She’s still top 100 after a year on the tour which for her age is great. I offer my support to her if she ever needs to talk, but she’s doing just fine.”
Bristol-born Swan herself had a bright start to her tennis career. She reached the junior Australian Open final in 2015. In 2016, at the age of 16 years and 316 days, she became the youngest British player in the history of Billie Jean King Cup, then known as the Fed Cup, when Great Britain captain Judy Murray added her to the squad for the Euro/Africa Zone Group 1 tie against South Africa.However, injuries have slowed down her progress at the senior level.
When asked about her fitness issues and how she is handling them, she said, “I have had a lot of difficulties with injuries. I’ve been fortunate that nothing’s been too serious, but it’s definitely been stop-start for me since my junior career. The main thing right now is just the consistency and just trying to avoid as many missed days of training as possible.
“Mentally staying super calm, facing each difficulty as it comes and just trying to grow day by day and stay more neutral with the way I approach it. Not too many highs, not too many lows. That’s really paying off at the moment because I’m feeling very proud and positive about my tennis,” she added.
Swan, who has never been to India before, spoke about the importance of having a tour-level event in the country. She said, “I was really excited when I saw that it (Chennai Open) was on schedule. Everybody is so friendly and it’s nice to see that there were a lot of people out there on Center Court watching. I hope that we can promote women’s tennis more by being here this week. Hopefully it goes on when people come out to watch.”
In 2018, Swan had signed up with three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray’s management agency, 77 Sports Management. “Getting to be involved with Andy in any kind of way was really inspiring as he is someone I’ve always looked up to since I started playing tennis. He’s still focusing on his own career right now and I don’t see him that often, but he’s always really nice when I get to see him,” said Swan about the association.