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Schroders Battle of the Brits - Scotland versus England

P&J Live Arena - Aberdeen 21 - 22 December 2021

Emma Radicanu on the court with Joe Sailsbury
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Raducanu driving forward with Bulldog spirit, looks to model herself on Halep & Li Na


Epitomising that Bulldog spirit, 17-year-old Emma Raducanu seems to be taking everything this event is throwing at her and playing tug-of-war with it right back!

From beating the more experienced Katie Boulter, going toe-to-toe with her in heavy ground-strokes and aggression, to whipping down a win over former World No. 1 Andy Murray, partnering Jodie Burrage in the mixed doubles, she kept on rolling with a win over Burrage – her second in three meetings.

From the youthful joy of managing to get her driving licence just before lockdown to working hard on her punchy forehand, the results have been impressive in the British Tour winning the first final and is currently on a 6-match winning streak in singles.

Watching her handling the matches with maturity it is difficult to remember we are looking at the youngest player on the board – she has been playing catching on her Maths and Economic A-levels and just managed to sneak in getting her driving licence before the world shut down.

Citing Simona Halep and Li Na as her influences, Raducanu knows where she wants to be and more importantly how to get there.

“I've got quite a few years ahead of me and I want to start playing how I want to picture myself in a couple of years.

“I want to be athletic like Halep. I feel like I've got quite a good base right now but a lot to improve on and also Li Na - I'm a massive fan of her game. She's got such powerful strokes. She went for everything and also she was very athletic in a more aggressive way. I loved her mentality, she never complained. That's something I aspire to be like.”

After a slow start, the Bulldogs have been running rampant, so was all the talk of being underdogs just mind-games on the part of team-captains Leon Smith and Anne Keothavong?

Laughing, she said: "We definitely are the underdogs on paper especially but I back us, every single player. The closeness that we have with each other and the support that we're giving each other, just clutching those tie-breaks especially so I'm really pleased and hopefully the bulldogs can keep going."

Another 15 points will be up for grabs tomorrow, but the Bulldogs do not look like letting up with their vice-like grip.

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