Emma Raducanu struggles on Stuttgart clay in first-round thrashing

The Briton won just three games against Jelena Ostapenko as she lost inside an hour

Pa Sport Staff
Tuesday 18 April 2023 21:14 BST
Emma Raducanu was beaten 6-2, 6-1 by Jelena Ostapenko
Emma Raducanu was beaten 6-2, 6-1 by Jelena Ostapenko (REUTERS)

Emma Raducanu bowed out in the first round at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart as Jelena Ostapenko breezed past her in less than an hour.

The British No 1, who has been battling a wrist injury, was comprehensively outplayed by the 2017 French Open winner as she romped to a 6-2 6-1 victory in 59 minutes on the clay to set up a second-round showdown with third seed Ons Jabeur.

Both players held serve comfortably at the first time of asking, but as Ostapenko started to find rhythm, her power and depth off the forehand set up a break point in the third game which she converted with a fine backhand return.

The Latvian established a 4-1 lead with a second successive break courtesy of another forehand winner as Raducanu struggled to deal with the weight of her opponent’s hitting, and she was caught out by her touch too as a deft drop shot helped to secure the next game.

Having stopped the rot to make it 5-2, the 2021 US Open winner was swatted aside as Ostapenko served out for the set, winning 6-2 in just 29 minutes.

Raducanu’s response was to win the first six points of the second set, holding service impressively to love before establishing a 30-0 lead in the second game, but the door was slammed firmly shut as the world number 22 rattled off 16 successive points to go 4-1 up.

The world No 68 fashioned her first break point of the match in the next game, but was unable to take it and found herself serving to stay in it, ultimately in vain as Ostapenko crashed a forehand service return past her to set up a match point she took with the minimum of fuss.

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