US Open champion Emma Raducanu ready to return to action at Indian Wells
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Andy Murray insisted Emma Raducanu’s defeat at Indian Wells should have been expected following the teenager’s US Open heroics. Raducanu incredibly won the Flushing Meadows tournament last month.
She became the first qualifier to ever win a Grand Slam – in just her second appearance at such a tournament – and did so without dropping a set at the age of 18.
Since her win, Raducanu has become a global star and penned a number of endorsement deals alongside appearances at glitzy events like the exclusive Met Gala.
However, the 18-year-old’s return to sporting action saw her crashing down to earth as she lost to Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 6-4 in the Indian Wells round of 64.
Murray, who reached his first US Open final at 21 years of age, admitted he expected Raducanu to suffer some kind of letdown after her tremendous high in New York.
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However, the three-time Grand Slam champion is confident she can weather the storm and return to form soon.
“What happened [at the US Open] was obviously incredible but in tennis and other sports it doesn’t just go in an upwards direction all the time,” the 34-year-old said.
“There are always little bumps and stuff along the way. It’s just a little bump, but I think pretty much everyone was sort of expecting that as well.
“I don’t think it’s anything unexpected, to be honest.
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“I don’t know her unbelievably well. I just know from the people who have worked with her and been around her, they all say the same things.
“She’s obviously unbelievably bright, well-educated, so you would imagine she would certainly be a lot better equipped to deal with everything that’s going on than most, and deal with it in a more mature way than I would have done when I was 18. She’s handled herself perfectly.
“I’m sure as she moves along she will learn how to go about everything, how to balance the whole tennis life, commercial life and the stuff that goes on away from the court better all the time.”
Murray admitted the Indian Wells tournament, where he faces world number four Alexander Zverev in the round of 32, can be a difficult surface to play on after the US Open.
The Scot was not surprised Raducanu struggled with the conditions on Friday night.
“It’s just that the conditions in New York in comparison to here are very, very different,” Murray revealed. “Pretty much every ball that you hit in New York was between your waist and your shoulders.
“The court was quite quick, so it was sort of shooting through and it was like first strike tennis, really.
“Whereas here the balls are checking a lot and it is very bouncy. It was windy as well and it really can swirl a bit in that stadium, whereas at Flushing Meadows or Wimbledon, when you’ve got the roofs on the court, you don’t really get the wind in there.”
Elsewhere, Dan Evans and Cam Norrie won their respective matches to join Murray in the next round at Indian Wells.
The British duo are currently battling for the title of British number one, and Evans will face Diego Schwartzman while Norrie is set to take on Roberto Bautista Agut.
Both games are scheduled to take place tonight, and Evans can enter the world’s top 20 for the first time in his career with a win over the Argentine.
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