Emma Raducanu gets brutally honest on playing on clay, her least preferred surface

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Raducanu addresses her clay game and Great Britain’s BJK Cup qualifiers chances against France.

Emma Raducanu admits clay isn’t the surface where she feels the most comfortable but adds that she is embracing the challenge of playing on the dirt in the upcoming weeks as she is hoping to lead Great Britain to win over a “super strong” French team.

Raducanu, 21, agreed to represent Great Britain in this week’s Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers tie in Rouen. Since France was picked as the host, they expectedly chose clay as the surface for the tie in Le Portel between April 12-13.

For Raducanu * who prefers faster surfaces – it will be just the sixth time in her pro career that she is playing on clay. Previously, Raducanu made four appearances in clay WTA tournaments and she also played for Great Britain when the Czech Republic hosted them on clay in 2022.

“I do love moving on clay, sliding, I find it very fun. It’s interesting, I think it’s different,” Raducanu told the LTA.

“It’s not necessarily the surface that I’m most comfortable on or my most preferred surface, but it’s something that I enjoy the challenge of.”

Raducanu gets candid about the difficult task of beating France

Playing on clay won’t be the only big challenge that Raducanu is about to face as the Briton warns that France has a very strong team, which will make it only a harder task for her and the rest of the team in Le Portel.

Besides Raducanu, Great Britain will also be represented by recent San Diego Open champion Katie Boulter and there are also Harriet Dart and Heather Watson.

When it comes to the French team, their selection features 2022 WTA Finals champion Caroline Garcia, Clara Burel, Diane Parry and Kristina Mladenovic. In singles, Garcia will be France’s top hope while in doubles they also have a mega-strong team as Garcia and Mladenovic have won a couple of Grand Slams together as a pair.

“It’s a super strong team. They have an amazing doubles pair. They have a great singles lineup so they could play anyone they want. They have so many options,” Raducanu underlined.

Raducanu certainly respects France ahead of the tie but hopes that she can do well in what will be her second singles appearance for her nation in the BJK Cup.

“Just to have your team on the bench, it’s a nice feeling to have them behind you. You can look up to them whenever you are playing or whenever you feel like you need a bit of (support)… It’s a good environment,” Raducanu explained.

How Raducanu’s clay debut when in the BJK Cup in 2022?

Exactly two years ago, Raducanu’s made her clay debut in Prague during the BJK Cup qualifiers tie against the Czech Republic. In her very first match on clay as a pro, Raducanu actually did extremely well as she even managed to beat former world No. 40 Tereza Martincova 7-5 7-5.

“It was my first match on clay in such a long time, like four years. So I think I was very, I’m not sure… Apprehensive maybe at the start, not sure how it’s going to go but I got into it, I worked really hard, I played Tereza Martincova who’s from Czech so they play a lot on clay and it was a great win for me to start the season,” Raducanu recounted.

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