Raducanu confesses she had "no idea" about opponent after Madrid Open defeat
British tennis star Emma Raducanu admitted she had ’no idea’ about Anhelina Kalinina before their match at the Madrid Open – which the Ukrainian won.
Kalinina, the World No. 37, performed brilliantly to win the first set before the US Open champion took a medical timeout for a sore back. Raducanu found form soon after and took the second set by showcasing the strong form she is in.
However, the ninth seed slipped to a 1-4 deficit in the third set only to tie the match once more at 4-4. Raducanu then played a poor service game before Kalinina held her nerve to secure the win in two hours and 19 minutes.
The win means the Ukrainian moves into the Madrid Open quarter-finals, while the defeat comes as something of a surprise for Raducanu as she believed she was in her best form since winning the US Open in New York last year. She was looking for three wins in the same event for the first time since her Flushing Meadows success, but came up short against Kalinina.
Raducanu admitted she had ‘no idea’ about Kalinina before the match and ultimately had to prepare without the help of a full-time coach. Kalinina is coached by her husband Anton Korchevskyi and has now beaten consecutive Grand Slam champions after crushing Garbine Muguruza 6-3 6-0.
In an emotional moment after the match, the triumphant Ukrainian fought back tears as she addressed the adoring Spanish crowd. She said: “I want to give credit to Emma because I think we both played at very high quality and that is why the tennis was great.
“I just want to say thank you very much to all the people who came today because I feel their power. Even in the moments when I didn’t have energy, I was feeling you.”
Who should Emma Raducanu hire as her next coach? Let us know in the comments section.
Elsewhere, wildcard Jack Draper unsettled Andrey Rublev before being toppled 2-6 6-4 7-5 by the World No. 8. The British left-hander, who overpowered the Russian in the opening set and led 3-0 in the decider, commented: “I surprised myself a little bit that I can play a very high level on the clay.”
World No.1 Novak Djokovic began his quest for a fourth Madrid Open title with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Gael Monfils. It was his 18th successive win over Monfils, the most by any player over another in the Open era.
The Serb will face old rival Andy Murray in the last 16 of the Madrid Open after the Scot sealed his win over Denis Shapovalov in two hours and nine minutes. The 34-year-old won the match 6-1 3-6 6-2.
Murray has not played Djokovic since the Qatar Open in January 2017, when the Brit was atop the world rankings. The 20-time Grand Slam champion won in three sets.
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