INDIAN WELLS, California - Emma Raducanu may have a major title under her belt, but she is not letting her historic US Open triumph distort her perspective. It is easy to forget the teenager made her WTA Tour debut in June and the US Open was just the fourth tour-level event of her career; she previously played Nottingham (WTA 250), Wimbledon (Slam) and San Jose (WTA 500).
Competing in her fifth tour-level event at the BNP Paribas Open, the No.17 seed saw her 10-match winning streak come to a halt Friday at the skilled hands of Aliaksandra Sasnovich, losing 6-2, 6-4 in the second round. The tricky conditions in the California desert have confounded even the most accomplished tour veterans, and Raducanu has cautioned everyone to mind the experience gap as she forges ahead in her budding career.
"Playing at night is always going to be different," Raducanu said after the match. "I haven't had much experience with night matches. I've only played one before on Ashe.
"I'm still very, very new to the tour. I think that experience just comes from playing week in, week out and experiencing all these different things. 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 experienced banked."
After dropping the first set 6-2 in 30 minutes, Raducanu fought her way back from a break down to lead 4-2 in the second set. But with the momentum on her side, Raducanu could not close the door on Sasnovich, who battled back to win the last four games of the match.
When asked what made the difference in the second set, Raducanu again cited the experience gap.
"She's been on tour, probably been 4-2 down like hundreds of times, whereas I've been 4-2 up ... it's my third WTA tournament this year.
"It will come in time. Just got to not rush it and keep going and get my head back to the drawing board really."
Raducanu dismissed the suggestion the loss had anything to do with increased pressure or expectation after being minted the tour's newest major champion. While Sasnovich is currently ranked No.100, she has been ranked as high as No.30 in 2018 and her win over Raducanu was her 16th career victory over a Top 20 opponent.
"I didn't go in there putting any pressure on myself because in my mind I'm so inexperienced that all these, I'm just taking it all in," Raducanu said. "You're going to have highs and you're always going to have some lows where you're disappointed with how you performed.
"Aliaksandra played an extremely great match. You could tell she's more experienced than me. She went out there and executed her game plan better than I did. She deserved to win that."
Raducanu is currently entered in Cluj-Napoca the week after Indian Wells and the Kremlin Cup in Moscow to finish the season. She said she will decide on her plans for the remainder of the season when she returns home.
"I think it's going to take me time to adjust really to what's going on," she said. "I'm still so new to everything. The experiences that I'm going through right now, even though I might not feel 100% amazing right now, I know they're for the greater good. For the bigger picture, I'll be thanking this moment.
"That's the lesson I think, that you can easily get sucked into being so focused on the result and getting disappointed.
"I mean, I'm 18 years old. I need to cut myself some slack."