US open champion Eamma Raducanu registered her first WTA Tour match win as she defeated Slovenia’s Polona Hercog in the opening round match of the Transylvania Open in Cluj on Tuesday. Raducanu came out on top at the end of a gruelling three-set encounter with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 win against world No 124 Hercog. The Briton led the first set 4-1 before going down 4-6 but then came back stronger to win the next two sets and claim her first victory at this level.
Speaking during her press conference, Raducanu said: “I feel really happy to have won that match. It was very difficult and I wasn’t playing my best tennis but Polona is a great opponent, she’s really experienced, so I really had to fight hard to pull that one through.
“I thought by the end of the third set I was playing some better tennis and the most important thing was I earned another opportunity to play better in the next round.”
The 18-year-old Raducanu was competing in only her second tournament since surprising the sporting world by lifting the title at Flushing Meadows as a qualifier. She made a blistering start to the match at the BT Arena as she won the first three games and appeared to be in control, before Hercog rallied for a break of her own and leveled the score at 4-4.
30-year-old Hercog showed her experience to push the number three seed to the backfoot. Hercog was picking up Raducanu with ease as she won four games in a row to take the lead and then closed out the set on serve.
Raducanu saved a couple of break points to hold on to her service game in the ninth game and again two games later but she played positively to square things up on her third set point. In the third set, the Briton regained the intensity she had displayed in the initial phase of the first set.
She finally broke the Solvenian with her power and pace to take the match as she won eight out of nine games to set up a meeting with Romanian Ana Bogdan in round of 16.
“I know Ana a little bit. We spoke off court and she was really nice and friendly,” added Raducanu. “I’ve never played against her and she’s obviously a great opponent but I’ve not seen much of her.”
Cameron Norrie beat Martin Fucsovics in the opening round match of the Erste Bank Open to register his seventh straight victory.
The British No 1 was playing his first match since lifting the title at Indian Wells 10 days ago and came out on top as he overcame the Hungarian 7-6(7-4), 6-1 in Vienna.