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After a breakout Wimbledon run and a stunning and historic US Open triumph, British tennis sensation Emma Raducanu remains under no illusions as to what she needs most.
The 18-year-old was bundled out of the Indian Wells tournament in California last weekend in straight sets by Belarussian world No.100 Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-2 6-4.
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Just 27 days after winning the US Open, Raducanu faced a reality check that she herself admitted she was 'kind of glad' about afterwards.
Raducanu parted ways with former coach Andrew Richardson soon after her US Open victory, a move that surprised many tennis commentators.
Richardson coached the teenage star for two years at youth level and linked up with her again in July on a short-term deal for the duration of her time in the United States ahead of and during the US Open.
However Raducanu said she was looking for a coach with more experience at the elite level of world tennis - a desire she reiterated to reporters following her loss to Sasnovich.
“If any experienced coaches are out there looking, you know where to find me,” she said.
“I’m not joking, if anyone knows any experienced coaches."
If you are a tennis coach with tour-level players on your CV, please give Emma Raducanu a call: “If any experienced coaches are out there looking, you know where to find me. I wasn’t joking, if anyone knows any experienced coaches...” https://t.co/zpKcvDMnGk
— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) October 9, 2021
That success at Flushing Meadows catapulted Raducanu into stardom, attending the Met Gala and the James Bond premiere in her time away from the court, and she got a taste of her new life as she was given the headline slot in the Friday night evening session.
However, she could not live up to her billing as the super attacking style that served her so well at the US Open proved her downfall early on and then she squandered a lead in the second set as Sasnovich won four games in a row to seal victory.
"I'm kind of glad that what happened today happened so I can learn and take it as a lesson so going forward I'll just have more experience banked," she said after the match.
Emma Raducanu bundled out of Indian Wells in second round
Despite being a US Open champion at such a young age, the reality is that the 18-year-old had never played in the Indian Wells tournament before.
It was a fact she was keen to remind the tennis world about after insisting that the loss would serve as a learning experience for the humble star.
"I'm still very, very new to the tour," Raducanu added.
"I think that experience just comes from playing week in, week out and experiencing all these different things....
"For the bigger picture, I'll be thanking this moment."
Raducanu has been warned by many past and present players about the pressures that come with success at a young age, but the Brit said she is focused on maintaining a positive and stress-free attitude on and off the court.
"I didn't go in there putting any pressure on myself because in my mind I'm so inexperienced, I'm just taking it all in," she said.
"You're going to have highs and you're always going to have some lows where you're disappointed with how you performed."
Raducanu had four double faults and won just five points out of 21 on her second serve. Ranked 22nd in the world, Raducanu accepted a wild card into the Indian Wells draw, where she was seeded 17th.
Sasnovich won the first set easily, accomplishing something that no one at the US Open was able to do. Raducanu claimed the title without dropping a set, winning 10 straight matches.
Serving in the final game of the first set, Sasnovich took a 40-30 lead with an ace down the middle. Raducanu hit a backhand winner to level it 40-40 but another unforced forehand error by Raducanu made it advantage Sasnovich.
Sasnovich clinched the set with a high lob from the baseline after Raducanu bungled an easy volley that she hit directly back to her opponent.
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