Emma Raducanu opens up on first WTA victory and sends message to fans

Queen stayed up late to watch Emma Raducanu win says Levin

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Emma Raducanu has spoken of her delight after sealing her first victory on the WTA Tour on Tuesday. The Brit came from behind to defeat Slovakia’s Polona Hercog 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the first round of the Transylvania Open.

Following the gritty win, the US Open champion addressed the fans who were unable to attend due to the rise of Covid cases in Romania.

She said: “It feels like a huge win, it is my first WTA Tour win which makes me very happy.

“It was difficult for me but I feel to win my first WTA match does mean a lot because I was on a losing streak, so I got my first one. I am really pleased to have come through that today.”

The British sensationan then sent a message of thanks to the local fans for their backing so far at the tournament with her father hailing from Romania.

JUST IN: Emma Raducanu beats Polona Hercog to progress to last-16 in Transylvania Open

She added: “It definitely means a lot, it’s my first win, I knew that in my head so I was battling really hard to get on the board. To play in Romania, I had amazing support so they definitely helped me.

“It is a shame there aren’t fans here but I hope they were watching and I just wanted to do them proud.”

She will face Romanian world No 106 Ana Bogdan in the next round – with top seed Simona Halep a potential semi-final opponent on Saturday.

Raducanu was delighted to play her first event in her father Ian’s Romanian homeland but strict Covid rules saw fans banned.

Only a very small number of volunteers and off-duty ball boys and girls greeted her as she walked out in a face mask and white kit on Centre Court.

Raducanu certainly didn’t have it all her own way in the opening round of the Transylvania Open. 

The world No 23 did race into a 4-1 lead but the wily Hercog soon found her rhythym and disrupted Raducanu’s tempo, winning five consecutive games to take the first set 6-4 in 46 minutes.

The Bromley local battled back and after failing to take three break points at 1-2 in the second set, then saved two break points on her own serve, the second at 5-5 with a clever short backhand slice.

And it arguably proved to be a decisive moment in the match as the British number one roared with delight after converting her third set point to take it 7-5 when Hercog sent a forehand long.

After showing incredible mental strength, the momentum was firmly with Raducanu and she stormed through the final set to complete a memorable win.

Despite clinching victory, arguably the loudest cheer for the 18-year-old came after her match had finished, as she impressed the local officials and journalists in the arena by speaking Romanian.

Raducanu was courtside giving her thoughts on the win over Hercog and insisted she spoke a little of the local language during her post-match interview.

As a result she delighted the local journalists by commenting: “Mă simt ca acasă aici!” which translates to ‘‘I feel like home here!’, and that resulted in a huge cheer from those in attendance at the opening round clash.

The comments from the 18-year-old come as no surprise, as she holds deep roots to the Eastern European nation with it being the native birthplace and home of father Ian.

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