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Britain’s Raducanu ‘doing things at own pace’

  • Britain’s Raducanu ‘doing things at own pace’.

Britain’s Emma Raducanu says she is doing things at her “own pace” following her assured first-round victory over Sloan Stephens at Eastbourne.

The 21-year-old has been criticised in recent weeks for opting to skip the French Open and deciding not to play for Great Britain at this summer’s Olympics in Paris.

After beating fellow former US Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-4 6-0, Raducanu scribbled “at my own pace” and a drew a winking face on a TV camera lens.

“I’m going to do things on my own time, at my own pace, and I’m in no rush to do anything,” Raducanu said when asked about the message.

“I’m just way more focused on my own lane and less susceptible to outside opinions or views.”

Raducanu was launched into the spotlight in 2021 when she ended Britain’s 44-year wait for a women’s Grand Slam singles champion with her stunning US Open victory.

But she has not reached the same heights since and her 2023 season was plagued by injury issues.

Asked whether she had been influenced by outside criticism after her first major win, Raducanu said: “At such a young age, it’s easy to get caught up in it.

“I think at one point I was chasing, playing too many tournaments when I wasn’t ready, and then I was just picking up niggle after niggle in every tournament, because I never really gave myself any time to do the training and the work.”

Elsewhere on Tuesday, British number one Katie Boulter held off a late charge from Croatia’s Petra Martic before wrapping up a 6-1 7-6 (10-8) victory.

Both Britons will play at Wimbledon, which begins on Monday.

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