French Open: Extra gym work fuelling Emma Raducanus title bid

- BBC News

French Open: Extra gym work fuelling Emma Raducanus title bid

Emma Raducanu says she is feeling the benefits of a more rigorous fitness regime as the US Open champion prepares to continue her French Open campaign.

The 19-year-old plays Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus in her second-round match on Wednesday.

Raducanu battled from a set down to overcome Czech teenager Linda Noskova in her Roland Garros debut.

"I think that it is definitely improving," Raducanu said when asked about her fitness.

"One thing that I have been doing in the lead-up for this week and the whole of last week, I was doing a lot in the gym."

Greek fourth seed Maria Sakkari, three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber and former world number one Victoria Azarenka are also in action in the womens singles draw on Wednesday.

Britains Cameron Norrie, 13-time winner Rafael Nadal, defending champion Novak Djokovic, third seed Alexander Zverev and Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz will attempt to reach the mens third round.

Raducanu, who has battled a series of niggling injuries since her US Open triumph in September, said she has also endeavoured to add "unpredictability" to her game, knowing that she has lost the element of surprise that helped fuel her memorable run at Flushing Meadows.

The British number one said: "I think definitely players kind of know more about me, and they would have seen me play more whereas last year, maybe if I was just a random qualifier, they wouldnt have put as much research or looking at me, how I would play.

"To counteract that Im always looking to improve in all sorts of aspects. I think one was definitely physically, just to be able to last in the longer points, especially on the clay courts.

"Also just adding elements of unpredictability in whatever way that may be."

Sasnovich, 28, who is competing under a neutral flag, beat Raducanu in straight sets when they met at Indian Wells in October in what was the Britons first match as Grand Slam champion.

Meanwhile, British mens number one Norrie says he is relishing the latest opportunity to showcase his burgeoning clay-court credentials in his second-round match against Australian qualifier Jason Kubler.

"Im more just locked in on the level and locked in on my next opponent," said 26-year-old Norrie, who backed up his ATP title triumph in Lyon by beating French wildcard Manuel Guinard in Mondays opener.

"I feel like Im a more experienced player and a better player than I was a couple of years ago. I feel the same, but just my games improved and Ive just got to keep backing it up every day."

Having opened his title defence with a routine victory over Japans Yoshihito Nishioka, Djokovic will face Slovakias Alex Molcan, who is coached by the Serbs former long-time coach Marian Vajda, in the third match on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Spains Nadal, targeting a record-extending 14th singles title, plays Frances Corentin Moutet in the night session on Court Philippe Chatrier.

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