Emma Raducanu loses first match of year in 55 minutes to Elena Rybakina | Emma Raducanu

Over the course of her first full season as a full-time skilled on the WTA tour, Emma Raducanu will come to expertise all an excessive amount of frustration and disappointment as she adjusts to life on the street. In Sydney, in her opening match of the season, Raducanu endured her first expertise of such feelings as she was dismantled 6-0, 6-1 by Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan in 55 minutes.

Afterwards, whereas Raducanu swiftly complimented her opponent, she defined her expectations had been low. She was nonetheless solely simply discovering her means again after testing optimistic for Covid in December. She stated she had not performed for 21 days in whole since then and had solely simply began to play factors. She had already withdrawn from what ought to have been her first match of the year in Melbourne.

“It’s robust but it surely’s good as a result of I’m very proud and blissful that I put myself on the market,” she stated. “I may have simply stated it’s too quickly and simply play subsequent week, however I wished to actually check the place I’m at and clearly give myself some aggressive factors and matches. I believe this may assist put me in a greater place for subsequent week.”

Regardless, Rybakina is one of essentially the most proficient younger gamers on the WTA and she or he possesses a harmful recreation. Additionally, she arrived in Sydney having reached the ultimate in Adelaide final week, shedding to Ashleigh Barty. She was prepared and she or he merely dominated, lasering winners from all components of the court docket.


Raducanu has performed only a few gamers with the shotmaking means of the Kazakh. Her sheer tempo, weight and depth frequently rushed the 19-year-old, who contributed to the one-sided scoreline by struggling along with her serve.

Rybakina thundered via the first 9 video games of the match and it was solely when Raducanu was trailing 6-0, 3-0 that she lastly clinched her first recreation, forcing a backhand error from Rybakina with some defence on recreation level. With a recreation lastly on the board, Raducanu pumped her fist and smiled in direction of her supporters and her crew. “I merely wasn’t going to lose love and love,” she stated. “In order that was my motivation.”

Andy Murray acknowledges the crowd after his first-round win.
Andy Murray acknowledges the gang after his first-round win. {Photograph}: Steven Markham/Velocity Media/Shutterstock

No extra video games would come Raducanu’s means, however she picked up her luggage and seemed to see how she may enhance. “After the match I received a field of balls and went straight to the follow court docket. I felt like I may have achieved some issues higher in the match, and I wished to attempt to repair it immediately, simply go away with a greater feeling about it. So, yeah, we went on court docket.”

In her first match of the season Raducanu misplaced, badly, however she completed her obligations with a smile on her face. “Yeah, I used to be simply preventing,” she stated. “On the finish of the day I simply need to preserve placing myself on the market. Even when I preserve getting knocked down and it’s nearly getting again up and principally simply falling in entrance. You’re one step higher. You study extra.”

Within the first match of the evening session in Sydney, Andy Murray received his first match of the season to transfer into the second spherical with a brisk 6-3, 6-1 win over Viktor Durasovic. Murray will subsequent face Nikoloz Basilashvili, who he defeated at Wimbledon final year.

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Whereas Murray didn’t catch Covid in the low season, and was one of the few gamers who travelled to Abu Dhabi not to accomplish that, he stated his day off was additionally disrupted anyway as he caught a “dangerous chilly” and didn’t practice for 10 days.

However Murray is now in Sydney along with his new coach, Jan de Witt, and as he mentioned their association, he made his ambitions clear. “Clearly what each of us need is outcomes,” he stated. “I don’t know clearly how lengthy I’ll have the option to compete for. I do know that accidents can occur at this stage in your profession and having been via what I’ve been via the previous few years, so, , I would like kind of immediate outcomes.”

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