Emma Raducanu ‘really sad’ to leave US Open after first-round loss
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Emma Raducanu is set to tumble down the WTA rankings after crashing out of the US Open in the very first round in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The young Brit was beaten in straight sets by Alize Cornet at Flushing Meadows to put a premature end to her attempted title defence in spite of her best efforts.
Raducanu went into the US Open as the reigning champion and is currently the 11th highest-ranked player in the WTA, but her latest defeat is set to spark a significant fall from grace. She will plummet outside the world’s top 80 as a result of her loss against Cornet, who used all of her experience to pick Raducanu apart in less than two hours on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old is set to lose 2,030 ranking points off the back of her early US Open exit to spark a drop of at least 69 places. She climbed into the world’s top 10 for the first time earlier this year, reaching a career-high ranking of 10th back in July, but will only remain in her current position until the rankings are updated at the end of the tournament.
She was no match for Cornet over the course of Wednesday’s outing, with the latter dominating proceedings to book her place in the second round of the US Open at the expense of last year’s winner. Raducanu was visibly gutted in the immediate aftermath of the match but insisted that her early defeat could serve as a blessing in disguise by taking a large amount of pressure off her shoulders.
JUST IN: Raducanu loses US Open match as title defence falls at first hurdle
“It’s obviously really disappointing, really sad to leave here,” said Raducanu. “It’s probably my favourite tournament, but also, I mean, in a way happy because it’s a clean slate.
“I’m going to drop down the rankings, climb my way back up. In a way the target will be off my back slightly.”
Meanwhile, Raducanu has since been urged to go back to the drawing board in the wake of her US Open elimination by Mats Wilander, who believes that she could benefit from establishing a clear identity in order to bounce back at future Grand Slams.
“Emma Raducanu is good, but she’s not great,” Wilander told Eurosport. “She had a lot of confidence last year, and she is a fighter, and she plays well.
“The only thing I don’t know is, I feel like she hasn’t quite found her identity as a player. Is she a bit of a risk taker? Does she play really aggressively? Or does she use her movement skills, and dial back a little bit and play with a little bit of variation, maybe a little bit more like Simona Halep used to play?
“I haven’t quite seen her path. What is she going to actually end up playing like? Because she’s good at everything [but] doesn’t quite have the killer shot.
“Let’s work and figure out what it is that makes her happy in terms of how she plays, and then this is how she’s going to end up playing. Of course, we’re always going to try and make improvements, but I think that’s the one part where I’m a little confused.”
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