SMILING Emma Raducanu jokes that she ‘vibes’ on clay as her clay court development accelerates.
The 19-year-old Briton had never played a professional event on the red stuff until just over two weeks ago.
Now she has won five of seven matches on the surface, with the last victory being a 6-2 6-1 rematch mission against Marta Kostyuk in the last 32 games of the Madrid Open.
The US Open champion converted five of her 12 break point chances against a player who had regularly beaten her at the juniors.
Raducanu faces another unranked Ukrainian star in the form of Anhelina Kalinina in the third round and she said: “It’s quite funny.
“I’m entering my first season on clay and I feel like I have nothing to lose.
“Any extra game is a total bonus.
“It’s crazy the support I get. I want to stay here as long as possible. »
It’s the first tournament since she surprisingly ditched coach Torben Beltz after five months and Raducanu joked, “I mean, I’m just vibrating here to be honest.
“I love it. A big part of that is the fun factor.
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“Over the past few weeks and months in particular, I have definitely found pleasure in the process and journey of being knocked down and getting back up again.
“It’s happened many times over the last six months. I feel like now I really cherish everything, the highs and the lows.
“I’ve always loved sliding – when I was 10 I played a few random local events on clay. I just haven’t done it in the last few years.
Meanwhile, Rafa Nadal will play in Madrid this week and says he has fully recovered from his broken rib injury which gave him many sleepless nights.