THE MODERATOR: Talk us through the match briefly.
EMMA RADUCANU: It was definitely a tough match to win. Caroline is a really tricky opponent because she is really aggressive and plays very quickly.
As soon as I dropped my ball speed and pace, she took advantage of that in the second set. I’m just glad that I managed to adjust for the third.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Your countryman Andy Murray won his 700th match. I know you look up to him. Could you talk about what kind of achievement that is for him, given all he’s been through.
EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, it’s incredible. I think Andy is such a class player. The way he can put the ball in places that you just don’t want. I think that’s a real great skill to have.
I definitely looked up to him today especially because I was following him. I knew he came through some tricky moments. Yeah, I was thinking the same when I dropped the second set. I was like, You can do the same, just keep pushing.
I think it was great to follow him in the order of play today.
Q. Can you give us a fun or special story about Andy?
EMMA RADUCANU: He has been supportive, for sure. I know one time when I was, like, just practicing, I managed to hit with him. I was so nervous. I was moving my feet so fast just to try and keep up.
I think he’s just such a great role model for me and everyone, from the UK, and also across the world. 700 wins is something I can just dream of. I think I’ve won three now, so I have a long way to go (laughter).
Q. The last few months have been a whirlwind of activities for you. Can you talk about some of those challenges, how that contrasts to when you were here last fall.
EMMA RADUCANU: I haven’t actually been doing many activities, appearances. I think that my day today is training, around my training schedule, I’ll do interviews or something.
It’s kind of definitely been difficult to manage my time. That’s more on me completing all the hours, no cutting or slacking off when I do any of the sessions. I really need to prioritize that because my body is still developing and still needs that work.
Q. What about the health challenges?
EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, it’s been challenging. COVID, the injuries, the blisters, I think they were all a knock-on effect of getting COVID, not training for three weeks.
It’s tough when you have no momentum. It’s so stop-start. Yeah, I’m really glad that I managed to push through today, kind of build and see where I can go from here.
Q. Did your paths cross, Andy going off court, you coming on court? While every win is great, how important would you say today’s result was?
EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, we actually crossed paths. When he was coming off, I was there waiting for the match.
It’s always like a weird one when you’re following someone who has just won. You’re like, I really want to do the same. It kind of gives you the extra fuel. I was really happy for him. He gave me like a fist bump, it was really cool.
Today’s match definitely meant a lot to me. It’s my second win of the year. I haven’t played so many. But I’ve just had these injuries and niggles. To come through in a big tournament, I think it definitely means a lot.
Yeah, I’m just really glad that at this level my level was good enough today.
Q. How did you feel physically out there? Was it ever really close for you to not come and compete here?
EMMA RADUCANU: Yeah, I mean, honestly after Mexico, I flew home, pretty much everyone was like, You’re done. Hopefully Miami is 50/50. At the time, that’s like four weeks of rehabbing, coming back.
I’m like, You guys, I feel like I can listen to my body here. It was starting to get better.
Yeah, no, I’m just really glad that I definitely came. I think that it’s definitely just important to kind of listen to your body, how it’s feeling. Regardless, the medical experts, they’re all top on their job, but if you’re really in tune with your body, I feel you get a good grasp of the decision to make.
Q. What do you think your biggest skill is? What’s the main skill you would like to add to your game?
EMMA RADUCANU: I feel like one of my skills is probably mental, working things out. I feel like today I worked out pretty well that I was taking pace off the ball, I was playing too much to one side or the middle in the second. I kind of reassessed. In the third set I picked my ball speed back up, I was spreading the play more.
I think that’s probably one of my strengths, just working things out as they go along. Also being a little bit awkward at times and unpredictable.
Q. You were really positive with yourself it looked like from the first point, fist pumping, came out very positive after the second set. What is your mindset? What are the emotions like right now when you play these matches? On match point when you win, is it a sense of joy? Relief?
EMMA RADUCANU: The match today, I’m not going to lie, I was a bit nervous going out before because I hadn’t played many. I know that before I went out in my last match in Mexico, I was pretty nervous.
Today I just really wanted to play free and swing. During, when things were getting difficult, I was like, Just think how bad you’re going to feel if you let this slip, after having your chances. I had broken the first game of the second. I played a bit of a sloppy game, missed loads of first serves, let her back in.
At the understand I think this one definitely meant a lot to me. Definitely a lot of joy.
Q. For American writers it’s fun to cover British players, same language but different. You always refer to injuries as niggles. Is there anything in American English, phrases or words, that are fun or different to you?
EMMA RADUCANU: Well, one Max, my agent, he was in my box in Australia. All I could hear was, C’mon, baby. I was literally cracking up (laughter). That was getting me.
I love how positive and fun American people are. I feel like coming here as a Brit, we speak the same language so it’s basically the same thing but in another environment.
It’s a really cool place to be. Everything is so easy and functional, too.
Q. The other day you were saying you weren’t used to the new normal quite yet. What is the weirdest thing about your new normal, the thing that’s hardest for you to get your head around?
EMMA RADUCANU: The weirdest? I think when people kind of — the weirdest thing is when someone gets so happy that I take a photo with them or say hi. To me I feel like that’s just normal. I don’t think that’s anything, like, they shouldn’t be getting happy because it’s just me.
Yeah, it definitely means a lot when that happens. I kind of feel bad because sometimes when I’m, like, practicing before the match, the crowd here, you can kind of see when people come off. But to get there you kind of have to walk that way. You’re preparing for a match. I feel kind of bad that I can’t do it all the time.
Yeah, whenever I get a chance, I want to make sure I really want to try to connect with the fans and people watching.
Q. After the incredible highs that you’ve experienced, then the disappointments with some results, do you feel you’re putting pressure on yourself or do you feel there is pressure being put on you that people are expecting you to win unrealistically every match you go out and play because you’ve won the US Open?
EMMA RADUCANU: I feel like that probably happened after the US Open. I think everyone just suddenly expected me to win everything, and clean up everything I played.
But realistically before that, like, if you would have said to me last year, Emma, what is your goal for the year? I’d be like, Okay, I want to win one round in the main draw of a Grand Slam. I did that in Australia. That to me last year probably would have made my year, to be honest.
Yeah, what might be a poor result now in people’s eyes to me would have been a positive thing. I think I need to keep reminding yourself of that, not getting sucked in.
I feel like now people are starting to realize it’s going to take some time for her to settle in. I feel like patience is a big thing. Once I settle in and go through all these highs and lows, I’ll find some sort of equilibrium.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports