'Kind of glad': Emma Raducanu's surprise call after brutal reality check

·4-min read
Pictured here, a disappointed Emma Raducanu reacts during her loss at Indian Wells.
Emma Raducanu lost her first match since a historic US Open triumph when she went down in straight sets at Indian Wells. Pic: AAP

Emma Raducanu is refusing to be dismayed after suffering a chastening defeat in her first match since last month's historic US Open triumph.

Raducanu crashed out of the WTA Indian Wells tournament in a straight sets humbling by World No.100 Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

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The 18-year-old Brit looked rusty in her first match back on the court since September 11 when she stunned the tennis world at the US Open by becoming the first qualifier to win a grand slam title.

Raducanu bowed out 6-2, 6-4 against Sasnovich, before making the shock admission afterwards that it was perhaps a good thing she'd lost.

"I'm kind of glad that what happened today happened so I can learn and take it as a lesson so going forward I'll just have more experience banked," she said after the match.

Despite being a US Open champion at such a young age, the reality is that the 18-year-old had never played in the Indian Wells tournament before.

It was a fact she was keen to remind the tennis world about after insisting that the loss would serve as a learning experience for the humble star.

"I'm still very, very new to the tour," Raducanu added.

"I think that experience just comes from playing week in, week out and experiencing all these different things....

"For the bigger picture, I'll be thanking this moment."

Raducanu has been warned by many past and present players about the pressures that come with success at a young age, but the Brit said she is focused on maintaining a positive and stress-free attitude on and off the court.

"I didn't go in there putting any pressure on myself because in my mind I'm so inexperienced, I'm just taking it all in," she said.

"You're going to have highs and you're always going to have some lows where you're disappointed with how you performed."

Seen here, Britain's Emma Raducanu walks off the court after losing in her first match at Indian Wells.
Britain's Emma Raducanu walks off the court after being defeated by Aliaksandra Sasnovich in her first match at Indian Wells. Pic: Getty

Emma Raducanu takes positives from loss

The 18-year-old said despite the disappointment of losing, she was determined to put the result into perspective.

"That's the lesson I think, that you can easily get sucked into being so focused on the result and getting disappointed. I mean, I'm 18 years old. I need to cut myself some slack."

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

The unseeded Sasnovich, playing her second match while Raducanu enjoyed a first-round bye, 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% 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.

Raducanu had four double faults and won just five points out of 21 on her second serve. Ranked 22nd in the world, Raducanu accepted a wild card into the Indian Wells draw, where she was seeded 17th.

Sasnovich won the first set easily, accomplishing something that no one at the US Open was able to do. Raducanu claimed the title without dropping a set, winning 10 straight matches.

Serving in the final game of the first set, Sasnovich took a 40-30 lead with an ace down the middle. Raducanu hit a backhand winner to level it 40-40 but another unforced forehand error by Raducanu made it advantage Sasnovich.

Sasnovich clinched the set with a high lob from the baseline after Raducanu bungled an easy volley that she hit directly back to her opponent.

with agencies

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