On Friday, Emma Raducanu was defeated 6-2, 6-4 by Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the second round of the Indian Wells tennis tournament, her first match since winning the US Open last month. The 18-year-old British sensation exuded invincibility at Flushing Meadows, going undefeated in ten matches en route to a stunning first Grand Slam title. Raducanu struggled under the lights on the stadium court in the Southern California desert on Friday with her accuracy and energy level. Despite a raucous crowd, she continued to make unforced errors and never showed the on-court zeal that had marked her breakthrough.
The 17th seed got off to a good start in the match by holding serve at love. The unseeded Belarussian capitalised on Raducanu’s errors, floating a lob over her outstretched racket to take the first set. Raducanu was broken early in the second set, but rallied to take a 4-2 lead as Sasnovich faltered. Sasnovich, on the other hand, settled in and won the final four games, sealing the win when Raducanu sent a serve return wide on match point.
“We had some great memories together – at the US Open and also previous to that – but I’m looking forward to the next chapter and I think that what I am doing right now is definitely the best for me and my tennis,” Raducanu said after the match. “I think Aliaksandra played a great match. She was better than me today, so she deserves to win. I’m kind of glad that what happened today happened so I can learn and take it as a lesson. There’s going to be disappointment after any loss. I didn’t go in there putting any pressure on myself because in my mind I’m so inexperienced that I’m just taking it all in,” she added.
In the third round of the WTA 1000 event, Sasnovich will face Simona Halep.
Andy Murray, the former world number one, defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-2 in his first match as a wild card. Against the French left-hander, Murray fired five aces and connected on 82 percent of his first serves. Murray converted three of six break points, while Mannarino failed to break on his lone opportunity.
Murray also recorded five aces against Mannarino who could only get one ace to his name. The Scottish tennis player had an impressive win percentage on the first serve and he followed that up in the second serve as well. Murray’s win percentage on the second serve was 70% while Mannariono’s was 48%. The Scot also won nine service games, four more than his opponent on the day who won five.
“I thought my mentality was good. I fought for every single point. That was the goal coming into the match and it got me the win,” Murray said after the match. “It’s been four years since I was last here. I think it’s one of the best places to play tennis on the ATP Tour. It’s been a tough road to get back and it was so nice that so many people managed to come out and support today. I really enjoyed it,” he added.