Emma Raducanu: British teenager plays on home soil for first time since US Open win
Emma Raducanu - Britain's first female Grand Slam champion in 44 years - made a winning return on home soil at the ATP Champions Tour event at London's Royal Albert Hall
By Raz Mirza at The Royal Albert Hall
Last Updated: 28/11/21 3:03pm
British No 1 Emma Raducanu celebrated her first match on home soil since winning the US Open with an exhibition of tennis at the iconic Royal Albert Hall on Sunday.
The teenager from Bromley, who lit up Flushing Meadows 79 days ago by coming through 10 matches without dropping a set to claim her maiden Grand Slam title, received a standing ovation from a packed audience for her homecoming.
Raducanu defeated Romania's world No 85 Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in a match which contained plenty of thrills, spills and laughs between the two players.
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Speaking on court, the 19-year-old said: "It's amazing to play at home in front of everyone here. I felt it straight from the minute I walked out - it was an incredible atmosphere and I really enjoyed playing here."
Raducanu is back in pre-season training with Torben Beltz - her new coach - who was Angelique Kerber's long-time mentor.
And having now broken into the world's top 20, she outlined her expectations ahead of the new season.
"For me, my expectations of myself are to keep improving, I want to look back at the end of the year and see that I made gains in different areas," said Raducanu, who also reached the fourth round at Wimbledon this summer.
"I know it will take a lot of patience to get to where I want to be and smooth out that consistency. It's all about building robustness physically.
"It will be my first calendar year on the tour, it will be a cool experience to play a full schedule. I am looking forward to learning, I am still quite young. We will learn and get better."
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Raducanu will play an exhibition event in the Middle East in December before flying out for the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on Monday, January 17.