US Open champ Raducanu loses opening match

Sunday, Oct 10, 2021

INDIAN WELLS, United States: Emma Raducanu crashed out of the WTA Indian Wells tournament in the second round on Friday, losing 6-2, 6-4 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in her first match since her stunning US Open triumph in September.

On September 11, the British 18-year-old shocked the tennis world at Flushing Meadows by becoming the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title.

But on Friday, she looked rusty in her first match since that win.

Raducanu won the first game of the opening set, but it was all Sasnovich after that in the first career meeting between the two.

“There is going to be disappointment after any loss,” Raducanu said.

“Going into the match I didn’t put any pressure on myself because in my mind I am so inexperienced. I am 18 years old. I need to cut myself some slack.

“You could tell she was more experienced than me and she went out there and executed her game plan better than I did.”

The unseeded Sasnovich won three straight points to reach 40-0 in the final game, then clinched the match when Raducanu hit a backhand long.

The Belarusian blasted one ace and won 67 percent of her first-serve points, taking advantage of Raducanu’s soft second serve and inability to hit winners on easy shots.

“I really enjoy playing here,” said Sasnovich. “Emma just won the US Open and I lost there in the first round. So it was a little bit different.”

Sasnovich moves on to the third round where she will face 11th seeded Simona Halep.

Sasnovich won the first set easily, accomplishing something that no one at the US Open had been able to do — Raducanu claimed the title without dropping a set, having won 10 straight matches in Queens.

Sasnovich clinched the first set with a high lob from the baseline after Raducanu botched on an easy volley at the net that she hit directly back to her opponent. Serving in the set’s final game, Sasnovich took a 40-30 lead with an ace down the middle.