Tuesday, November 30

Raducanu falls to defeat in first match since US Open triumph


Emma Raducanu was given a reality check as she stumbled to defeat in her first match since winning the US Open last month, falling 6-2 6-4 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the second round of Indian Wells on Friday.

It has been 27 days since the 18-year-old stunned the world to become the queen of New York in a fairytale story, but she could not reproduce that level in the Californian desert, going down to the Belarussian world No 100.

Raducanu was given the headline slot in the Friday night evening session, but she could not live up to her billing as the super attacking style that served her so well at the US Open proved her downfall early on, and then she squandered a lead in the second set as Sasnovich won four games in a row to seal victory.

Had it not been for that incredible win last month, this defeat for 17th seed Raducanu would have been entirely expected as Sasnovich, currently ranked at 100, is a former top 30 player and an experienced head on the WTA Tour.

The Briton is anything but and, despite already having a Grand Slam in her trophy at home, this was just her third tour-level tournament and she is still waiting for her first win.

Expectations may have been high externally, but Raducanu is mature enough to know that everything is not going to be plain sailing.

“I think it’s going to take me time to adjust really to what’s going on,” she said. “I mean, I’m still so new to everything.

“Like the experiences that I’m going through right now, even though I might not feel 100 per cent amazing right now, I know they’re for the greater good.

“For the bigger picture, I’ll be thanking this moment. So, that’s the lesson I think, that you can easily get sucked into being so focused on the result and getting disappointed.

“I mean, I’m 18 years old. I need to cut myself some slack.

“I’m still very, very new to the tour. I think that experience just comes from playing week in, week out and experiencing all these different things.

Sasnovich will next face Simona Halep in the third round of the WTA 1000 event, while Raducanu will dust herself down and move on to the next one, where she is due to play in Moscow in the Kremlin Cup later this month.

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