PARIS -- US Open champion Emma Raducanu bowed out in the second round of her first foray at Roland Garros, losing 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich. But after a 12 months in which she played her first match on the Hologic WTA Tour, last June on the grass at Nottingham and win the US Open in only her fourth event, there was much for the 19-year-old to reflect on Wednesday.
Since winning the US Open, Raducanu has gone on to make two WTA quarterfinals. She has now applied her trade on all surfaces and has found success on each. Through it all, she has managed to balance her emergence into the spotlight while juggling injuries that are the natural consequence of a young player's first full season.
Raducanu will next prepare for the grass season, where her first scheduled event will be the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham. Here's what Radacanu reflected on what she learned in her remarkable first 12 months on tour:
Everyone wants to beat her
Raducanu had little time to revel in being a hunter before quickly becoming the hunted. The Brit had played only three tour-level tournaments before her run in New York. But becoming the first qualifier in the history to win a major made her one to beat. After all, beating a reigning major champion can be a headline-grabbing achievement for any player.
"It's different when you are someone who may have a target on their back," Raducanu said. "Everyone raises their game, wants to play well, wants to beat you, take you out. That's something I have definitely kind of learnt on the tour this year and just accepted that."
She's learned to process losses
Raducanu speaks often of her thick skin, which she says allows her to go about this stage of her career without letting external expectations or disappointments affect her. She might be a reigning major champion, but Raducanu is taking every match and every tournament as an opportunity to learn.
"I think before I would let the losses kind of affect me more so than I am right now," she said. "Now I just look at everything as a lesson, and I know exactly where I went wrong, where I can improve, where other people are better than me.
"I definitely just look at all of these matches as a good tool to kind of teach me where to improve my own game."
Clay can be a winning surface for her
Raducanu made her clay debut this year at Stuttgart and went on to make the quarterfinals and push No.1 Iga Swiatek in a 6-4, 6-4 loss. The 19-year-old continued to build on that, earning back-to-back wins against Tereza Martincova and Marta Kostyuk in Madrid, before playing her best match of the year in a narrow 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 loss to Anhelina Kalinina in her first Round of 16 at the WTA 1000 level.
"I think that I definitely got stronger as the clay season went on," Raducanu said. "It just takes a lot more to win the point on this surface. You hit a ball flat, doesn't really do that much.
"I definitely learnt when to use the shape and stuff. I still got quite a long way to go on this surface, but overall, I would say I definitely had a good first experience on the clay. I think that I can definitely improve a lot more than what I am at right now."
After a year of learning on the job, she's ready for familiarity
Nearly every tournament Raducanu has played in the past 12 months has been a brand new experience. Learning the ins and outs of the tour. Where is player dining? Where are the locker rooms? How do I get from Court 3 to Court 12? It is just as much a learning process as tactics and technique.
"I do really welcome going around the second time," Raducanu said. "I think this year was always going to be challenging for me to adjust, find my feet. There's always something new. Like, I'm always asking where everything is. I have no idea where everything is.
"It's going to be a lot more familiar this time around."
She's learned she's a bigger fighter than she thought
Raducanu raced through the US Open draw, in both qualifying and main draw, without losing a set. It would have been easy for observers to how she would fare in more competitive situations. Raducanu always prided herself in her battling abilities, but she says she found her competitive well ran deeper than she thought.
"I feel like in the last 12 months I have definitely grown a lot," Raducanu said. "On and off the court, I feel like I have probably improved how much I fight. I think that's one of my biggest strengths and even more so on the tour this year, and it's definitely opened my eyes to just how good everyone is and how much depth there is in the game.
"I think that it has been a pretty positive year just because I have learnt so much, and I think that the amount of learning that I have kind of done outweighs any sort of result, to be honest."