Emma Raducanu suffers brutal blow in 'terrible' US Open drama

·Sports Reporter
·6-min read
Defending US Open champion Emma Raducanu (pictured) waving to the fans after being knocked out of the US Open.
Defending US Open champion Emma Raducanu (pictured) has been knocked out of the grand slam in the first round. (Getty Images)

Defending champion Emma Raducanu has been knocked out of the US Open in the first round after a tough loss to French veteran Alize Cornet.

Raducanu enjoyed a fairytale run in 2021 to become the first qualifier ever to win at Flushing Meadows.

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The teenager was catapulted to superstardom after her maiden slam, but has struggled in 2022 to maintain the form that saw her rise up the rankings.

Just before her opening round, Raducanu was seen in tears having sustained an injury to her right hand in practice.

And the hand injury appeared to hinder the British 19-year-old who was outplayed 6-3, 6-3 by the French veteran.

Raducanu becomes just the third defending champion to be eliminated in the first round at Flushing Meadows.

To add insult to injury, Raducanu dropped 2,000 ranking points and will drop down to around World No.80 after the result.

Despite the brutal loss, many in the tennis world were quick to rally around Raducanu after such a difficult year in the limelight.

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Raducanu became only the third woman to lose her opening match in New York a year after winning the title - joining 2004 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber.

During the match, Raducanu received treatment on her hand and appeared in severe pain.

Before the tournament, the British teenager was consoled by coach Dmitry Tursunov during Friday's practice session after she appeared to tearfully complain about a problem with her right hand.

However, she doubled down and said she wasn't feeling the pressure to repeat the feat in New York.

"I think you guys are thinking probably more about pressure and ranking than me," she told reporters.

"I think defending a title is just something that the press makes up. I'm just taking it one match at a time.

Alize Cornet (pictured) fist-pumps after defeating Emma Raducanu at the US Open.
Alize Cornet (pictured) celebrates after defeating Emma Raducanu in the first round of the US Open. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

"Like, every single player is very capable in this draw. I just focus on what I'm doing, my own trajectory. As I said last year, I'm just going to do things my way."

Regardless of the drama, the day belonged to Cornet.

The 32-year-old simply outplayed Raducanu to add another big scalp to her grand slam resume.

Cornet has enjoyed a strong year having reached the Australian Open quarter-final after defeating Simona Halep.

Cornet knocked out Jelena Ostapenko at Roland Garros, World No.1 Swiatek at Wimbledon and now Raducanu in New York.

Cornet will now face Katerina Siniakova in the second round at Flushing Meadows.

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