TORONTO -- Emma Raducanu says she is looking forward to a fresh start to her career ahead of her title defense at the US Open later this month. This week, the World No.10 returns to her birthplace in Toronto to make her tournament debut at the National Bank Open.
Toronto: Draw | Order of Play | Tournament 411
Fresh off a run to the quarterfinals of the Citi Open last week, Raducanu was asked to reflect on her US Open win and follow-up season.
"To have success at a young age, obviously you have to be really grateful because I'm doing what I love, but also I've reached success way earlier than I ever really would have thought I did," Raducanu said. "So I'm pretty proud of myself in that way.
"But it has been a tough year. I've definitely gone through and experienced a lot of challenges. To be fair, I've learned a lot from all of it. I think it's going to be nice once the US Open is finished and [I can] carry on from there. Start again.
"I think it will be nice to take all of the lessons from the last year and just [have] a clean slate."
Seeded No.9 this week, Raducanu will face 2021 Montreal champion Camila Giorgi in the first round.
In search of the real Maria Sakkari
After taking a 6-3, 6-1 loss to Shelby Rogers in the second round of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic last week, World No.3 Maria Sakkari had to face a difficult truth: She was not enjoying the life of a top tennis player.
Sakkari, Osaka among players looking for a spark in Toronto
"I just sat down with [Coach] Tom [Hill] for a lot of hours and just realized that I'm not enjoying being one of the best players in the world, which was something very tough to admit and very tough to handle," Sakkari told reporters. "But it's the truth. It's the reality. I think that the pressure and everything was something I had to deal with."
Sakkari has not been herself since making the biggest final of her career this spring at Indian Wells, where she lost to Iga Swiatek in the championship match. Sakkari credits her mother, former player Angeliki Kanellopoulou, for reminding her to enjoy her career. It won't last forever.
Today's @MapleLeafFoods Quote of the Day comes from @mariasakkari reminding everyone to listen to our parents more. 😅👩👧— National Bank Open (@NBOtoronto) August 7, 2022
She plans to take her Mom's advice and enjoy her time at the #NBO22! pic.twitter.com/qhEvHCxE0Z
"After the match against Paula [Badosa in the Indian Wells semifinals] it was very emotional because I knew that I was going to be a Top 3 player after winning that match," Sakkari said. "[In Greece] I was always the person and the player that, because my mom was very famous back home, they always used to say 'She's never going to make it, even if she changes everything. She will never make it.' And then suddenly, out of nowhere, I become one of the best players in the world.
"So for me, it was very tough to handle it. I struggled. Sometimes when you are on the tour and you play week after week, you don't stop and you don't realize what you have really achieved. It takes time for some people and I believe that it took time for me.
"But I feel like I'm on the right track to being myself again. And I believe you're going to see a different Maria than in the last three months."
Well, this is awesome. @mariasakkari picked a little girl out of the crowd at the end of her practice and hit a few balls with her. 🤗 #NBO22 pic.twitter.com/JObOIluHR5— Max Gao/高俊鹏 is at #NBO22! (@MaxJGao) August 6, 2022