Emma Raducanu is a “true inspiration” after her shock win at the US Open, her next opponent in Romania has claimed. The British No 1 found her form to win her first match since New York at the Transylvania Open by beating Polona Hercog on Tuesday, and will now face world No 106 Ana Bogdan on Thursday.
Raducanu became the first qualifier in history to win a Major when she went into the US Open ranked world No.150.
And Romanian Bogdan said: “She is a true inspiration – even to me. I say, everything is possible. That smile and that innocence on her face. I really think that was the key.
“She always kept a very positive attitude, no matter the score. I think that helped her a lot.
“It was an inspiration and an inspiration for many, many girls out there. She is a great athlete and a great champion. I am looking forward to the next match.”
Bogdan spoke with Raducanu in Romanian during a pre-tournament ceremony on Sunday. And the British No 1, whose father Ian is Romanian, gave her post-match interview in her third language after beating Polona Hercog.
“Now I am a little bit shy to speak in Romanian but once I stay here longer I can speak better,” said the Bromley teenager.
Bogdan laughed: “She has a sweet accent. We were talking about Formula 1, we are both fans of F1 and Daniel Ricciardo! If she wants to play for the Romanian Fed Cup squad, she is more than welcome!”
Raducanu, whose father Romanian father Ian is in Cluj-Napoca, admitted her first ever regular WTA win – after three first round losses – had relieved some pressure.
“I knew that win definitely meant a lot to me to get through that,” said the world No 23. “I can take confidence and loosen up for the next match. Now I feel like I have settled in better, I am used to the courts, I am used to a match under the conditions.
“It definitely means a lot, it’s my first win, I knew that in my head so I was battling really hard to get on the board. To play in Romania, I had amazing support so they definitely helped me.
“It is a shame there aren’t fans here but I hope they were watching and I just wanted to do them proud.”
Simona Halep is in action on Wednesday as she takes on her Romanian compatriot Elena-Gabriela Ruse.
And speaking about Raducanu earlier this week she said: “What she achieved is unbelievable and it’s all credit to her because she played so well and she played so many matches.
“I think her mentality was very strong and also her game. She played great tennis, very fast, very close to the baseline and I think the movement also was great.
“She has already won a Grand Slam title and I think she is able to achieve everything. She now has the experience of winning the biggest tournament in tennis.”