“I will play as long as I last,” reigning US Open champion reacts after world number one Ashleigh Barty retires
By Megan Wellens
Last Updated: 23/03/22 7:09pm
Emma Raducanu has made It clear that her career plans haven’t changed after Ashleigh Barty’s shock retirement from tennis on Wednesday at just 25-years-old.
The US Open champion’s comments came after world No 1 Barty shocked the tennis world with her announcement to hang up her racket.
The three-time grand slam winner confirmed her retirement and intent to “chase other dreams” and is a player Raducanu has sighted an inspiration in the past.
Despite the current Australian Open and Wimbledon champion’s decision, Raducanu is adamant that she has a long career ahead of her in professional tennis.
Reacting to the news in the build up to the Miami Open, she said: “For me, I want to be in the game as long as possible.
“I’m only 19. I’ve just come on tour, which is pretty young.
“I want to be in the game till I’m in my 30s. We’ll see what happens and how long I can last, to be honest.”
Having taken some time away from tennis herself during the Covid-19 pandemic to complete her high school exams, Raducanu is looking to emulate Barty’s 2016 season where she “cleaned up” following a two-year sabbatical.
“If you get oversaturated with one thing, it’s not healthy with anything you do,” said Raducanu.
“I feel like that just shows, if you take time off, you come back, you’re hungry, you’re ready. She basically cleaned up when she came back. It just shows you don’t need to be only tennis, tennis, tennis.
Since her victory at the US Open, Raducanu has struggled to hit a consistent run of form, but insists that isn’t her main priority at the moment.
“Right now, all I care about is getting through the season in one piece,” said Raducanu.
“I feel like because I have been losing early every week, I don’t really care because I kind of like the challenge of being knocked down and feeling horrible after a loss, sort of trying to get yourself back up there for the next match.
“Now all I want to do is just complete my first season on the tour in one piece. Doesn’t matter if I lose first round every week, just that’s the goal.”