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The tennis world has rallied around teen US Open winner Emma Raducanu after she was thumped in her return to tennis at the Sydney Tennis Classic ahead of the Australian Open.
Raducanu, 19, was playing her first competitive match in 2022, but looked far from her confident best as she only just managed avoid a double bagel in a 6-0, 6-1 thrashing at the hands of World No.13 Elena Ryabinka.
The Brit suffered from serving troubles and was comprehensively outplayed as Ryabinka continued her strong form, which saw her lose to World No.1 Ash Barty in the Adelaide International final.
The loss was a blow to Raducanu's preparations for the January 17-30 Australian Open, having withdrawn from the warm-up event in Melbourne last week following a positive test for Covid-19.
Raducanu remained upbeat after the loss and said she wasn't too worried about the result.
“I think I’ll brush this off," she said following the loss.
"Yesterday was pretty much my 2nd time playing competitive points for two months. I’m confident that I can brush it off and keep going and keep working.”
Tennis world rallies around Emma Raducanu
While Raducanu may have catapulted to superstardom after her Wimbledon and US Open campaigns in 2021, many forget she is still a teenager.
The tennis world was quick to defend the youngster and claim she is still a novice on Tour and is learning as she travels around the world.
Big smile for Emma Raducanu, stopping a double bagel with a hold for 0-6, 1-3 vs Rybakina.
As @tumcarayol points out, Rybakina has to be the biggest hitter Raducanu has ever faced, by orders of magnitude.
Still so many new experiences ahead for Raducanu in her nascent career.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 11, 2022
Reminder that had Emma Raducanu not won the US Open we'd be saying what an achievement it is that she's qualified for Sydney and the Australian Open.
— Charlie Eccleshare (@CDEccleshare) January 11, 2022
Worth remembering that Emma Raducanu is a Tour novice.
It’s going to take time.
— David Law (@DavidLawTennis) January 11, 2022
Elena Rybakina 6-0, 6-1 Emma Raducanu
Rybakina pretty awesome.
Raducanu reminded how tough the sport is at this level. It’ll take time.
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) January 11, 2022
Harsh lesson for @EmmaRaducanu but before anyone starts piling into her let’s remember today was only the 3rd time she’s faced a top 20 opponent. Patience is the key throughout 2022
— Marcus Buckland (@marcus_buckland) January 11, 2022
Fellow Briton Andy Murray had an easier time against Norwegian qualifier Viktor Durasovic, cruising to a 6-3, 6-1 win in the ATP 250 tournament at the same venue.
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