US Open champ Raducanu loses in 2 sets at Indian Wells


PTI, Oct 9, 2021, 9:26 AM IST

Indian Wells: Emma Raducanu came down to earth in her first tournament since her surprising US Open victory, losing in straight sets to Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the BNP Paribas Open.

Raducanu lost 6-2, 6-4 in the second round, ending her 10-match winning streak that began in New York. She received a wild card into the combined ATP and WTA tournament in the Southern California desert.

Sasnovich, a 27-year-old from Belarus ranked 100th in the world, reached the doubles semifinals last month at the U.S. Open while Raducanu was completing a stunning run from qualifier to champion at age 18.

Sasnovich got service breaks to take leads of 3-1 and 5-2 and close out the set in 30 minutes without ever losing her serve.

Raducanu rallied in the second set, taking a 4-2 lead. But Sasnovich broke for the fifth time and led 5-4 before serving out the match. Sasnovich won 53% of her second serves to just 29% for Raducanu.

Former men’s No. 1 Andy Murray and U.S. Open runner-up Leyla Fernandez played night matches.

Iga Swiatek needed just 71 minutes to dispatch Petra Martic 6-1, 6-3.

The last time the tournament was played in 2019, Swiatek lost in qualifying. Now, she’s the No. 2 seed and the 2020 French Open champion.

Swiatek won nine of the first 10 games against Martic before the Polish star got broken twice and fell behind 0-3 in the second set. Swiatek rallied to win the next six games and close out the match.

“In 2019, I wasn’t playing that confident, but I’m really happy that times have changed now,” Swiatek said.

“In the second set, I lost focus for one game and she broke me pretty fast, so I knew I just had to keep going and not stop for a second time.”

No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina beat Tereza Martineova 6-2, 7-5. Ninth-seeded Anatasia Pavlyuchenkova topped Madison Keys 6-3, 6-1.

No. 11 seed Simona Halep beat Marta Kostyuk 7-6 (2), 6-1.

Victoria Azarenka advanced via walkover when Magda Linette quit trailing 7-5, 3-0. Shelby Rogers routed Kristina Kucova 6-2, 6-2.

On the men’s side, Americans Jenson Brooksby and Ernesto Escobedo won their first-round matches. Brooksby beat Cem Ilkel 7-6 (5), 6-4, and Escobedo defeated Holger Rune 6-4, 6-1.

(AP)

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