Emma Raducanu says she is “very motivated” to continue to improve as she prepares for the “challenge” of her first professional season on clay.
Raducanu, 19, was a shock winner at the US Open last summer just a few months after making her debut on the WTA Tour.
She is now set to play on clay for the first time at senior level when Great Britain face Czech Republic in the Billie Jean King Cup this weekend.
She will then start her WTA clay season at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart from April 18.
The tournament boasts a strong field that includes world No.1 Iga Swiatek and eight of the top 10 players in the world.
‟It will be challenging but I have already won matches against some of these players in my short experience on tour,” Raducanu told the tournament website.
“It would be very motivating to add to my wins against the best players in the world, especially on clay where I have little experience as there aren’t really any clay courts in the UK.
“This clay season with the French Open as the highlight will be an interesting challenge, but one I am looking forward to.”
Raducanu has had a difficult start to the season with injuries and illness stalling her progress.
She has only two wins in 2021 so far but showed some encouraging signs in close defeats in her last outings at Indian Wells and the Miami Open.
“I am excited to play my first ever WTA tournament on clay,” she said.
“It’s nice that it’s the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. I’ve been following the event since I was young and for me it was always the tournament where the winner gets a Porsche. It was unique and it has stayed on my mind.
“Since being on the tour, I have heard so many good things about the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. I know it’s one of the most popular tournaments on the calendar which is no wonder – who doesn’t want to win a Porsche?”
Asked about how she stays motivated, Raducanu added: “I think new challenges will always present themselves and you’ll always be resetting goals.
“Personally I’m very focused on the improvements I can make in my game and that motivates me a lot.”
Raducanu has recently expanded her growing sponsorship portfolio by becoming a brand ambassador for Porsche.
She says she sees similarities between motorsports and tennis, particularly the need for “continual improvement.
“It’s what I love. On court, you also have to always be concentrated and have to react instinctively to new situations and find quick solutions. One invests lots of time and effort preparing and practicing for marginal gains.
“But the differences in motorsports are far more minimal than in tennis as we’re talking about milliseconds and seconds. And there’s another difference, the consequences in tennis are not so serious when you make a mistake.”
Raducanu is set to lead Great Britain against Czech Republic in the Billie Jean King Cup in Prague.
The winner of the tie secures a place in the finals of the competition later this year. Harriet Dart, Katie Swan and Sonay Kartal make up the British team.
Captain Anne Keothavong said: “We are looking forward to the challenge of playing the Czechs. Emma will be making her singles debut. Harriet and Katie have been an integral part of the team the last couple of years, while I’m excited to give Sonay that experience for the first time.
“Every tie creates a unique pressure and intensity, which I’m sure our players will thrive on, and, even though we have a difficult challenge ahead against the Czechs, I have every confidence our squad will do themselves and their country proud.”