NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 07: Emma Raducanu of Great Britain celebrates in action against Harriet Dart of Great Britain during Day 3 of the Viking Open at Nottingham Tennis Centre on June 07, 2021 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA)
Tennis | WTA Indian Wells 2021 | Raducanu “glad” for experience from defeat
On the first night match at Indian Wells on Friday, Aliaksandra Sasnovich took the first set in just over 30 minutes, refusing Emma Raducanu a chance to find her footing and settle into the match. After leaving court briefly between sets, Raducanu was reinvigorated and showed determination in the second set. She lost the first game on her serve after the fifth deuce point, but immediately broke back, fighting her way to a 4-2 lead. The crowd overwhelmingly backed the Brit. After some frustrating close calls late in the second set, Sasnovich regained control of the match, taking the second set 6-4.
‘I can learn and take it as a lesson’
In her press conference after the match, Raducanu credited her opponent with a great performance and repeatedly reminded of her own inexperience coming into the tournament. This match was her first on the gritty hard court of Indian Wells and only her second career night match.
She explained, “I’m still very, very new to the tour. I think that experience just comes from playing week in, week out and experiencing all these different things.” She was not dispirited by the events, saying, “I’m kind of glad that what happened today happened so I can learn and take it as a lesson.”
Reflecting on critical moments, Raducanu mused that Sasnovich had “probably been 4-2 down like hundreds of times whereas I’ve been 4-2 up. It’s my third WTA tournament this year.” For the Belarusian, who reached her career high ranking no. 30 in 2018, the clash at Indian Wells was her 227th career match. This experience gave her a significant advantage but Raducanu as Raducanu remains confident in her own abilities, “it will come in time. Just got to not rush it and keep going and get my head back to the drawing board really.”
Sasnovich had only kind words for Raducanu, saying, “she’s really a talented girl. She has a strong forehand, backhand. She always tries to be aggressive.” The Belarusian took the crowd support for her young opponent in stride: “It doesn’t matter they support me or my opponent. It doesn’t matter. I just love to feel this energy, I just love to be on court and just enjoy.”
The young Brit was gracious and mature in defeat, telling press, “I didn’t go in there putting any pressure on myself because in my mind I’m so inexperienced that all these, I’m just taking it all in.”
With this loss, the second round of the Indian Wells draw will play without any British women, but Andy Murray, Cameron Norrie, and Daniel Evans still feature in the men’s tournament.
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