Emma Raducanu admits to uncertainty after powerful Nottingham Open victory over Ena Shibahara

Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu has admitted she was uncertain how her match with Ena Shibahara would play out after her victory at the Nottingham Open on Tuesday

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 11/06/2024

- 15:39

Updated: 11/06/2024

- 15:50

The tennis star won in her first match since April

Emma Raducanu has reacted to her victory over Ena Shibahara at the Nottingham Open on Tuesday, admitting she was unsure how the match would play out.

The 21-year-old was gracing the court for the first time in a match since her defeat at the Madrid Open back in October.

And Raducanu, playing 713 days after her last match on a grass court, produced a strong performance as she powered her way to victory.

The Briton won 6-1, 6-4 to book her place in the second round, surviving a late Shibahara comeback in the process.

Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu has admitted she was uncertain how her match with Ena Shibahara would play out after her victory at the Nottingham Open on Tuesday


Raducanu has now spoken in the aftermath of her win.

And the 2021 US Open champion was proud of the way she performed, saying: "It's been a few weeks since I last played a competetive match, so I didn't really know how it was going to go.

"But I think my intentions were great from the start of the match, I think I played a really good match and, at the end, when you're 6-1, 5-1 up it could probably go wrong.

"So I tried to not let it get to my head, just preparing the fighting for each point.

"Knowing that, even though I lost three games in a row, I still had a chance to win the match in that last game.

"All credit to Ena. She's making it very tricky on the grass courts with her serve and volley, it's hard to find a way past.

"But, yeah, I'm very pleased with the way I dealt with the circumstances today."

Raducanu was cheered on by the Nottingham crowd - and the Briton was delighted at the reception she received.

"It's great to be playing on home turf, it's been so long since I last really played in the UK.

"I played in France earlier this year, against a French player, it was very loud.

"So to come here and feel like everyone is behind me is very nice and I'm cherishing every moment of that too."

Tennis fans on X were left in awe of Raducanu's performance.

"Raducanu, Raonic, and Berrettini looking like the early favourites to win Wimbledon," were the words of one user.

A second said: "Perfect timing for Emma Raducanu to be healthy! 3 weeks until Wimbledon!"

A third opined: "Great to see Emma Raducanu winning on grass again. Some typical jeopardy towards the end but plenty of lovely shots along the way. Excited to see what shape she turns up in for Wimbledon."


Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu was proud of herself after her impressive win over Ena Shibahara at the Nottingham Open


A fourth stated: "Emma Raducanu got a little tight at *5-1 in the second set, but overall that was a very impressive 6-1, 6-4 win over Ena Shibahara to kickstart her grass season in Nottingham.

"Real opportunity next in round two against qualifier Daria Snigur."

And a fifth said: "Welcome home Emma Raducanu!!!"

Raducanu will be hoping to impress at Nottingham this week.

If she wins, she could climb up the world rankings and secure an automatic spot at Wimbledon.

Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu clearly enjoyed herself as she beat Ena Shibahara at the Nottingham Open


Should Raducanu struggle in round two and crash out earlier, she'll need a wildcard to enter the prestigious tournament.

But that's unlikely to be an issue, with the 21-year-old still such a big name despite suffering with injury problems in recent years.

You may like