Emma Raducanu is determined to operate on her own terms after defending her decision not to play the French Open or Paris Olympics following a stunning Eastbourne win over Sloane Stephens.

The ex-British number one on Monday declared herself back in love with the sport having struggled with injuries and form since being thrust into the spotlight by her shock US Open triumph in 2021.

Raducanu delivered in style on her Devonshire Park debut, producing a string of eye-catching winners to triumph 6-4 6-0 in a big-hitting first-round battle of former Flushing Meadows champions.

The 21-year-old, who missed the entire grass-court season last year due to wrist and ankle surgery, wrote “my own pace” on a television camera after making an impressive statement ahead of Wimbledon.

“I’m going to do things on my own time,” said Raducanu, who has been given a wildcard to compete at the All England Club next week.

“I’m in no rush to do anything and everything I am doing and playing for now is for myself.

“Whether that’s tournament scheduling, whether that’s how much time I take off to train compared to compete, I think I’m just way more focused on my own lane and less susceptible to outside opinions or views.

“I’m just enjoying it, just doing everything for myself and really just being independent out here.”

Having opted to sit out Roland Garros, Raducanu built on her recent run to the semi-finals of the Nottingham Open with a victory she ranked among the best of her grass-court career.

The world number 168, who was later joined in round two of the Rothesay International by British number Katie Boulter, will next face American second seed Jessica Pegula.

Raducanu admits to previously feeling compelled to compete at every opportunity in the aftermath of clinching grand slam glory aged just 18.

“It’s pretty natural becoming a different person overnight almost with the circumstances, not necessarily myself, at such a young age,” she said.

“It’s easier to get caught up in it and at one point I was chasing playing too many tournaments and then I was just picking up niggle after niggle in every tournament because I never really gave myself any time to do the training.

“That is something I’ve done a lot better this year.

“Even though I might get challenged or questioned for not playing certain tournaments, like the French Open or the Olympics, that is just part of it, doing things at my own speed and how I want to, rather than how everyone else thinks is best for me.”

Boulter, who defeated Raducanu en route to retaining the Nottingham Open title earlier this month, overcame Petra Martic 6-1 7-6 (8) to set up a last-16 showdown with 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

British wildcard Yuriko Miyazaki was comprehensively beaten 6-1 6-2 by Belgium’s Elise Mertens.