Emma Raducanu takes leaf out of Naomi Osaka’s book as Brit wins

Emma Raducanu sailed through to the second round of Indian Wells with a confident win over Danka Kovinic on Thursday before admitting she deleted social media from her phone to avoid some of the noise following her Australian Open exit earlier this year. It’s been a tough start to 2023 for Raducanu with injuries continuing to plague her progress.

Her 2022 campaign was cut short due to a wrist injury, forcing her to miss the Billie Jean King Cup. And Raducanu’s preparations for this year’s Australian Open took a hit when she twisted her ankle in the ASB Classic, where she left the court in tears.

The 2021 US Open champion was able to prove her fitness to play in the Australian Open, but only made it through to the second round after losing a close contest to Coco Gauff. She went on to take several weeks out of action before planning a comeback at the ATX Open last month, but the 20-year-old was forced to pull out after contracting tonsillitis.

And the British No 1 admitted coming into Indian Wells she still didn’t feel 100 per cent right. There were some doubts over whether she would take to the court for her opening-round match against Kovinic.

But Raducanu showed her resilience to come through a tricky tie and progress to the second round and set up a match against No 20 seed Magda Linette. It’s been a testing 18 months for Raducanu ever since she burst onto the WTA Tour with her historic triumph at Flushing Meadows.

And she admitted after her win over Kovinic that she took a break from social media recently to try and block out some of the noise. “After AO (Australian Open) I deleted WhatsApp and Instagram off my phone and after that, I’ve been living under my own little rock,” she said.

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“I felt like sometimes you go through patches where you just want to zone in on yourself and I was very content with my life without it. I’ve learned regardless of what you do, if you do good, if you do bad, people are going to come at you regardless.”

Naomi Osaka did something similar last year following her Australian Open exit, in what was her first major competition since taking a mental health break in 2021. The defeat saw Osaka drop to 84th in the world – her lowest ranking since August 2016.

Her career has since been put on hold after announcing earlier this year that she was pregnant. But the Japanese star has still been training while pregnant, recently being spotted hitting with tennis icon Andre Agassi.

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