Raducanu opens up on 12-hour training regime as she bids for Australian Open win

Emma Raducanu has opened up on her gruelling training regime in Melbourne as she eyes what would be a remarkable second Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open come next weekend.

Raducanu shot to superstardom in September after astonishingly claiming the US Open at the tender age of 18 without losing a set, having come through qualifying.

The British teen sensation has endured a tough time since then on court, and recently contracted Covid in December, forcing her to miss the Mudabala World Tennis Championships.

There aren't huge expectations on her shoulders at the Australian Open, just her third senior Grand Slam appearance ever, but she performed ever so impressively to seal a first-round win over Sloane Stephens on Tuesday.

While landing a second Grand Slam title seems improbable, she is certainly doing everything she can to give herself a chance of dreaming.

When asked by reporters if she spends much time in the players lounge at Melbourne Park, Raducanu insisted she is not giving herself any time for socialising – and is instead hitting up the gym and practice courts for hours on end.

The US Open champion told reporters: "I'm not really hanging out so much, but I'm kind of just at the club to get my business done and then leave even though my business takes 12 hours! It's a well-known fact I literally spend 12 hours a day at the club.

"Everyone in my team is, like: 'What are you doing?' I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

"But I feel like I don't know where the time goes. I don't even hang out in the player lounge and talk to anyone. I'm just doing training. And then in between having lunch, recovery, and then training again. And then gym and then more recovery.

"So I'm here from like, 8.30 to 7.30. I don’t know what’s happening!"

While it's all work and no play for Raducanu currently, the teen has admitted her new coach Torben Beltz has been rewarding her for her 'good behaviour' with treats at the Australian Open.

Beltz is known for making bets with his former players that he coached on how far they go in tournaments.

Raducanu said: "No forfeits yet. He does reward me for good behaviour. If I do a drill well he will bribe me with some mints. Apparently that is my thing!

"And acai bowls and frozen yoghurt. I think I've racked up like three acai bowls from him – not gonna lie."

Raducanu faces Montenegro's Danka Kovinic in the second round on Thursday morning (UK time).

Kovinic, who has never progressed beyond the second round of a major tournament, defeated South Korean Jang Su-jeong in her opener.

Raducanu will quietly fancy her chances of sealing her spot in the third round but she knows she will have to be at her best to progress at Melbourne Park.

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