Emma marches to straight sets win over Moyuka

Thursday, Sep 22, 2022

SEOUL: Emma Raducanu advanced into the second round of the Korea Open as she saw off Japan’s Moyuka Uchijima in straight sets.

The British number one, currently at 77 in the world rankings, beat 126th-ranked Uchijima 6-2 6-4 in an hour and 18 minutes in Seoul, dominating for much of the contest before surviving a fightback by her opponent.

Raducanu will next face Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer, who had earlier defeated Czech Linda Fruhvirtova 6-1 6-4. The 19-year-old will be eager to extend her run after making a second-round exit at last week’s Slovenia Open, her first tournament since the defence of her US Open title ended in round one.

After Uchijima held serve in the opening game of the match, Raducanu won the next five in a row en route to claiming the first set.

She subsequently broke Uchijima in the opener of the second and twice more again as she surged into a 5-0 lead. Having looked entirely comfortable, the sixth seed was then broken when serving for the match, and Uchijima’s response continued with three more games to take the score to 5-4.

Uchijima then had break point at 40-30 up in the 10th, only for Raducanu to produce a couple of aces before wrapping up the victory.

Raducanu said in a post-match interview with Korea JoonAng Daily: “I think it was overall a pretty solid match until the end of the second set.

“It’s tough when you haven’t been playing that many matches, you’re not as used to those situations. I’m really happy with the way I regrouped and held the serve on that last game because it was really important to win that game.”

She added: “My goal on the court is to keep trying to swing freer and freer in each match.

“And my other goal is to try and stay in Korea for as long as possible. Honestly, I love it so much here in Korea. I feel so at home here. Everything is so much better. It’s so clean, the food is unbelievable. I just want to spend as much time in Korea as I can.”