Emma Raducanu has been defended after suffering a one-sided loss to Jelena Ostapenko in Stuttgart. The Brit lasted just 58 minutes as the world No 22 put on a dominant display to win 6-2 6-1. And Mark Petchey put the loss down to Ostapenko’s level rather than any fault from Raducanu.
Raducanu suffered her third successive match loss as she crashed out of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in the opening round. The 20-year-old received a brutal draw, coming up against fellow Grand Slam champion Ostapenko.
The hard-hitting Latvian hit a purple patch throughout the match as she fired down an impressive 30 winners as Raducanu struggled to compete with her opponent’s tricky brand of tennis. But she was later defended by one of Andy Murray’s former coaches, who thought the 2017 French Open champion was just too good.
“On these courts which are unique, I doubt too many players beat Ostepenko today. That was a ridiculously good performance,” Petchey tweeted shortly after, mentioning the indoor clay-court conditions.
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The pundit also said Raducanu wasn’t at fault as he added: “Emma did nothing wrong. Just too good from the other.” Ostapenko did go on to start her next match in the same unplayable form but was ultimately beaten by third seed Ons Jabeur.
The 25-year-old raced to a 6-1 lead over the two-time Grand Slam finalist and served for the match at 5-4 in the second set but Jabeur managed to break back. It was the world No 4 who ended up winning 1-6 7-5 6-3.
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While Ostapenko was just too good for Raducanu on the day, the defeat still has some significant repercussions for the world No 68. She will lose 100 of her 839 ranking points when the standings update on Monday.
And the 2021 US Open champion is at risk of falling out of the world’s top 100 since her historic Grand Slam win 19 months ago. Raducanu defends another 120 points at the upcoming Madrid Masters and her ranking will take a tumble if she loses in the first round again.
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