Raducanu stumbles in first match since US Open triumph


Emma Raducanu has lost her first match since winning the US Open last month, falling 6-2, 6-4 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the second round of the prestigious Indian Wells tournament in California.

The 18-year-old Briton had an aura of invincibility at Flushing Meadows in New York, after qualifying and not dropping a set on her way to winning her first major.

But it was a different story under the lights on the stadium court in Indian Wells, as Raducanu struggled with her accuracy and her energy level.

Unforced errors piled up as the night wore on and she never exuded the on-court joy that was a hallmark of her breakthrough despite a supportive crowd.

The match started promisingly enough for the 17th seed, when she held serve at love to kick off the affair.

But errors began to creep in and the unseeded Belarusian took full advantage, floating a lob over Raducanu’s outstretched racquet to claim the first set.

Raducanu was broken to begin the second set but battled back to take a 4-2 lead when Sasnovich began to misfire.

Sasnovich settled down, however, winning the final four games and sealing the match when Raducanu sent a service return wide on match point.

Sasnovich will next face Simona Halep in the third round of the WTA 1000 event, after the 11th-seeded Romanian beat Marta Kostyuk 7-6 (7/2), 6-1.

Raducanu’s US Open success catapulted her into stardom. She attended the Met Gala and the James Bond premiere in her time away from the court.

She will now turn her attention to the Kremlin Cup in Moscow later this month.

In other results in the women’s draw in Indian Wells, Iga Świątek needed just 71 minutes to dispatch Petra Martic 6-1, 6-3 in the second round.

Number four seed Elina Svitolina beat Tereza Martineova 6-2, 7-5, while ninth seed Anatasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Madison Keys 6-3, 6-1.

Victoria Azarenka advanced via walkover when Magda Linette retired trailing 7-5, 3-0.

Shelby Rogers — who ousted Australia’s world number one Ash Barty from the US Open — routed Kristina Kucova 6-2, 6-2.



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