Emma Raducanu refuses to be appalled suffers a chastening defeat in her first match since last month’s historic triumph at the US Open.
Raducanu crashed out of the WTA Indian Wells tournament in a straight set humiliating by world number 100 Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
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The 18-year-old Briton looked rusty in her first match back on the court since 9/11 when she stunned the tennis world at the US Open by becoming the first qualifier to win a grand slam title.
Raducanu bowed 6-2, 6-4 against Sasnovich, before admitting in shock that it might be a good thing she had lost.
“I’m a little happy that what happened today happened so I can learn and take it as a lesson, so in the future I’ll just get more experience,” she said after the match.
Despite being a US Open champion at such a young age, the reality is that the 18-year-old had never played in the Indian Wells tournament before.
It was a fact she was eager to remind the tennis world after insisting that the loss would serve as a learning experience for the humble star.
“I’m still very, very new to the trip,” Raducanu added.
“I think the experience just comes from playing week in, week out and experiencing all these different things ….
“For the bigger picture, I want to thank you for this moment.”
Raducanu has been warned by many past and present players about the pressure that comes with success at a young age, but the Briton said she is focused on maintaining a positive and stress-free attitude on and off the pitch.
“I didn’t go in there and put any pressure on myself because I’m so inexperienced in my mind, I just take it all in,” she said.
“You’re going to have heights and you’ll always have some lows where you’m disappointed with how you did.”
Emma Raducanu takes positive from loss
The 18-year-old said that despite the disappointment of losing, she was determined to put the result into perspective.
“That’s the lesson, I think one can easily be sucked into being so focused on the outcome and being disappointed. I mean, I’m 18 years old. I have to cut myself a little bit.”
Raducanu won the opening set’s first match on Friday, but that was all Sasnovich after that in the first career meeting between the two.
The unseeded Sasnovich, who played his second match while Raducanu enjoyed a goodbye in the first round, won three straight points to reach 40-0 in the playoffs and then ended the match when Raducanu hit a backhand long.
The Belarusian blew an ace and won 67% of his first-serve points, taking advantage of Raducanus’ soft second-serve and inability to hit the winners on easy shots.
“I really enjoy playing here,” Sasnovich said. “Emma just won the US Open and I lost there in the first round. So it was a little different.”
Sasnovich advances to the third round, where she will face 11th-seeded Simona Halep.
Raducanu had four double faults and won just five points out of 21 on his second serve. Ranked No. 22 in the world, Raducanu accepted a wild card in the Indian Wells draw, where she was seeded as 17th.
Sasnovich won easily in the first set and achieved something that no one at the US Open was able to do. Raducanu took the title without losing a set and won 10 straight matches.
In the final set of the first set, Sasnovich took a 40-30 lead with an ace in the middle. Raducanu hit a backhand winner to level it at 40-40, but another unforced advance foul by Raducanu made it in favor of Sasnovich.
Sasnovich got the set with a high lob from baseline after Raducanu bungled a light volley that she hit directly back to her opponent.
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