It was always clear after Emma Raducanu’s US Open victory that it would take time for her to adjust to the rigors of professional tennis, a process that defined the start of her season. After struggling with a series of different ailments, Raducanu arrived in Indian Wells still recovering from a left leg injury sustained in Guadalajara last month. A few days before the BNP Paribas Open started, he could not confirm his participation.
But when Raducanu did step into court on Friday, he was ready. The 19-year-old started off in one of her best tennis sets since New York and in the turbulent three-set match that followed, she worked hard to beat Caroline Garcia 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 and reach the third round at Indian Wells. .
A reflection of the hype that still surrounds Raducanu came before he had even played a point. Although Iga Swiatek, the third seed, and former champion Simona Halep both compete on Friday, Raducanu is placed on the top 1 Stadium pitch ahead of them.
He immediately capitalized on his high bill, breaking Garcia’s serve in the opening game. Raducanu moved well from the start, absorbing Garcia’s bigger punches and counter-attacking efficiently, constantly stepping into the baseline to shift points from defense to attack.
When Garcia, a former world number 4 who has been dropping in the rankings in recent years, begins to push himself consistently, Raducanu struggles to keep up. The speed of his first and second serve dropped significantly and his passivity allowed Garcia to take the initiative. But Raducanu kept his composure and, at a crucial moment early in the third set, moved back into the baseline and held off Garcia’s momentum by holding serve before clinching the win.
“As soon as I stopped and my racket speed went down, my ball speed went down, he went straight up on it. I knew I had to make some adjustments in the third set. I am very happy that I was able to finish in the match and get through the tough one,” said Raducanu.
The win marked Raducanu’s first win in the WTA 1000 and he has lost five games in six games. Raducanu who got a bye in the first round will face Petra Martic who is not seeded in the third round.
Earlier in the day, Andy Murray clinched a crucial first-round victory at the BNP Paribas Open, picking up his 700th career ATP main draw win in a normally full of endurance match in the absence of his top level. After losing heavily in the first set and then trailing 3-1 in the final, Murray came back to beat Taro Daniel of Japan 1-6, 6-2, 6-4. Murray will next face 31st seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan.
Only 17 other male players in the history of the sport have reached 700 wins and only Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have achieved it among active players. “It means a lot,” Murray told Amazon Prime. “That was a target I set myself towards the end of last year and with everything that has happened in the last few years it was not easy to get there. Such a great achievement, not many people can afford it. I am very happy about it.”
Emma Raducanu overcame rocky road to reach Indian Wells third round | Emma Raducanu
Source link Emma Raducanu overcame rocky road to reach Indian Wells third round | Emma Raducanu