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Raducanu goes at her own pace to dish out a thrashing

Emma Raducanu is in no rush these days.

The 2021 US Open champion skipped the French Open and decided not to play at the Paris Olympics.

Raducanu sent a message after beating American Sloane Stephens 6-4 6-0 in the first round of the grass-court Eastbourne International.

The 21-year-old Raducanu wrote "My own pace" on a courtside TV camera at Devonshire Park.

The British player will be a wildcard entry for Wimbledon next week after missing last year's tournament because of hand and ankle injuries.

"I'm going to do things on my own time," she said after beating Stephens, the 2017 champion at Flushing Meadows.

"I'm in no rush to do anything."

She added that she's "less susceptible to outside opinions or views".

Raducanu will next face No.5 seed Jessica Pegula, the American who won the title at the Berlin Ladies Open on Sunday.

On Monday, top-seeded Elena Rybakina withdrew from Eastbourne. She was the 2022 Wimbledon champion.

In men's first-round play, Lorenzo Sonego beat Henry Searle 6-3 6-2, and Emil Ruusuvuori defeated Cam Norrie 7-6 (11-9) 6-3.