In her first match after her resounding triumph at the US Open, the young British tennis player Emma Raducanu was eliminated on Friday in its premiere in the tournament of Indian Wells for the Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
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Raducanu, 18, fell 6-2, 6-4 to Sasnovich, who ranks 100th in the WTA rankings and has no title on her record. The British disappointed with a very imprecise tennis and far from the version with which she conquered the New York Grand Slam last September 11 without losing a single set.
“Aliaksandra is an experienced opponent. I had to adapt to the conditions, it was my first time in Indian Wells and he was better than me. He deserved to win,” acknowledged Raducanu.
“Somehow I am glad that what happened today has happened, in order to learn, take it as a lesson. So from now on I will have more experience,” stressed the British, who became known only in the middle of this year when she reached the Round of 16 at Wimbledon.
Raducanu, who jumped from position 150 in the world ranking to the current 22 thanks to her triumph at Flushing Meadows, did not feel comfortable at any time during her debut in Indian Wells (California), a WTA 1000 category tournament.
Although she came to dominate 4-2 in the second set, Raducanu was unable to display the unassailable game with which she astonished the tennis world in New York, where she became the first Grand Slam winner starting from the qualifying phase and in the Youngest ‘Major’ champion since Maria Sharapova in 2004.
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Sasnovich broke through in the third and seventh games to beat Raducanu in the first set, an achievement that none of the Briton’s 10 rivals at Flushing Meadows achieved. In the second set, Raducanu lost his serve in the first but recovered quickly by breaking in the second and sixth games.
With 4-2 in her favor, the British seemed to be accelerating towards the third set but Sasnovich did not miss his opportunity and took advantage of the mistakes of his young opponent to come back and seal his victory. In the next round the Belarusian will face Romanian Simona Halep, eleventh seeded and winner of two Grand Slam titles.
Leylah Fernández advances
Before the unexpected elimination of Raducanu, the rest of the candidates for the title in the desert Indian Wells solved their crosses without major difficulties.
The young Canadian Leylah Fernández, surprising runner-up at the last US Open, beat the French Alizé Cornet 6-2, 6-3.
Fernández, of Ecuadorian father and number 28 in the WTA, will play the next phase against Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, number 13. The Polish Iga Swiatek, second seed of the tournament; Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, fourth seeded, and Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, former world number one, also advanced to the stage.