Misc Tennis

Raducanu downed by Carlé in Madrid Open first round

Raducanu downed by Carlé in Madrid Open first round

Emma Raducanu fell in a first-round defeat at the Madrid Open on Wednesday, losing to Argentina’s María Lourdes Carlé in straight sets.

Raducanu, 21, had been in good touch heading into the clay-court tournament, with her four wins propelling Britain to the finals of the Billie Jean King Cup, but was unable to replicate that form in the Madrid sunshine. Carlé progressed to play 17th seed Veronika Kudermetova in the second round with a 6-2, 6-2 win.

The match got off to an inauspicious start for Raducanu, who was broken in the first game of the match and served up two double faults. She lost the first seven points of the match and was broken twice more in the opening set.

The 2021 US Open champion’s serve continued to trouble her in the second set, once again being broken by Carlé at the first, second and third time of asking. Raducanu also battled mistakes throughout, more than quadrupling her opponent’s unforced error count in the loss.

Raducanu had been seen as a favourite for the contest by many, despite her lowly world ranking of 221, compared to Carlé’s 82. The Madrid Open is significant with regard to rankings points, as it is one of 10 WTA 1000 events on the calendar.

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