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Emma Raducanu is inspired by the courage of Andy Murray at the Australian Open and reveals that she practices Mandarin with Chinese players

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Emma Raducanu is inspired by the courage of Andy Murray at the Australian Open and reveals that she practices Mandarin with Chinese players

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Emma Raducanu has revealed that she was inspired by Andy Murray’s fighting display to win her first match at the Australian Open.

The US Open winner put in an impressive performance to beat Sloane Stephens in the first round in Melbourne.

AFP

Raducanu impressed against former US Open winner Stephens

After winning the first set 6-0, she was pushed up to three sets and was inspired by Murray’s grit and determination.

The three-time Grand Slam winner survived a grueling five-set battle with Nikoloz Basilashvili just hours before Raducanu took to the court.

Raducanu said: “When I was in the third set I was actually thinking, ‘Andy was leading a set and then he was pushed to five but he fought so hard and took the decider’ , so when I went to three, I was also thinking, ‘Actually, I can fight and win, fight like he did.’ I definitely took inspiration from him.

It was Murray’s first victory at Melbourne Park in five years and his first appearance since admitting he could retire with a hip injury in 2019.

Emma Raducanu is inspired by the courage of Andy Murray at the Australian Open and reveals that she practices Mandarin with Chinese players

 | Top stories

AFP

Murray made an emotional comeback at the Australian Open, winning his first-round match

In the match three years ago, he still managed to push Roberto Bautista Agut to five sets before resurfacing surgery, and among those watching on TV at home was Raducanu.

“I’ve watched so many of Andy’s matches, all of his finals here in Australia, but his match against Agut was one of the best fights I’ve ever seen,” she said. “It’s great to have a role model like him at the helm of British tennis.”

Raducanu had struggled with form since the US Open and there were plenty of mitigating factors to go along with it.

She joined a new trainer, Torben Beltz, and was also affected by an episode of COVID-19 just before Christmas.

The 19-year-old suffered a tough 6-0, 6-1 defeat in Sydney last week but looks to be getting back on track.

Emma Raducanu is inspired by the courage of Andy Murray at the Australian Open and reveals that she practices Mandarin with Chinese players

 | Top stories

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Raducanu takes on Danka Kovinic in the second round

Emma Raducanu is inspired by the courage of Andy Murray at the Australian Open and reveals that she practices Mandarin with Chinese players

 | Top stories

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Raducanu tackles his first full season on tour

“If you had asked me a week ago after Sydney if I could turn things around so quickly, I would have been pleasantly surprised,” Raducanu said.

“I’m really, really proud of myself for how far I’ve come over the last few weeks and having this positive attitude after getting a game on the scoreboard last week, not letting that get me down and actually continuing to working and snacking, and I was rewarded for it.

After staying in school to complete her A Levels last spring, Raducanu has only been a full-time tennis player for a few months, and is likely to pursue more academic goals in the future.

She is working on her Mandarin in Melbourne, but the day job takes over.

“I actually speak Mandarin with my mom and some of the Chinese players here,” the 17th seed said.

“But I literally spend 12 hours a day at the club. Everyone in my team is like, ‘What are you doing?’ But I feel like I don’t know where time is going.

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Emma Raducanu is inspired by the courage of Andy Murray at the Australian Open and reveals that she practices Mandarin with Chinese players

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