Emma Raducanu - Australian Open 2024

Emma Raducanu admits she ‘struggled with everything’ in Doha defeat

Emma Raducanu has exited the first WTA 1000 event of the season in the first round, and the Brit gave a very honest reflection after her defeat in Doha.

Raducanu lost the first set against Anhelina Kalinina, 6-0, in just 22 minutes and was broken in the first game of the second.

However, the 2021 US Open champion fought back and saved two match points to force a tie-break where she would have a set point of her own.

But, the 21-year-old’s Ukrainian opponent managed to withstand the pressure coming from her racket and held out to win in straight sets.

Raducanu hit a total of 48 unforced errors in her second career defeat to Kalinina and reflected on her performance when speaking to Sky Sports, “I was struggling with everything – serve, return, forehand, backhand. I felt like I never really got into it.”

She continued, “It was a combination of things. It was the first day match I have played in a year. That is different. I need to practice training outside a bit more. The lights, conditions, shadows, it is really hard to see the ball, I found towards the end.

“When my tennis isn’t there I have to try and at least fight and I did that in the second set. I just struggled with the timing of the ball. It will come with more time practising as well as matches.”

There is another WTA 1000 event taking place in the Middle East next week in Dubai, but Raducanu confirmed that she would be skipping it and heading back to the United Kingdom to practice.

Raducanu has won three out of her seven matches since returning from surgeries to both wrists and her left ankle and spoke about how she needs to improve her schedule going forward.

“It is hard for me to get used to the tour schedule,” admitted Raducanu. “It is one tournament then another straight away. I need to schedule my tournaments a bit better and try to get more matches under my belt.”

It is currently unclear as to when Raducanu will next compete on the WTA Tour, with the current world No.262 having the majority of her ranking points to defend at the upcoming Indian Wells tournament.

Inside the baseline…

It was a performance of two halves for Emma Raducanu, who looked really off the boil in the first set before showing real resilience in the second. The set point in the second set tie-break looked as though it could have gone either way, which could obviously had led to a very different outcome, so it is important that Raducanu isn’t too hard on herself. That being said, with Raducanu’s ranking being well below her capability, she is being handed very tricky draws at these big tournaments, so maybe it would be a good idea for her to play some WTA 250 events or maybe even Challengers to help build the ranking back up and provide more matchplay for the young Brit.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.