Emma Raducanu comment: A glimpse of what is to come after Indian Wells defeat
So near and yet so far – that is the emotion Emma Raducanu must have felt as she came to within two points of the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open before losing to Croatia’s Petra Martic in a high-quality contest.
The US Open champion served for the match in the decider but could not finish the job and bowed out of the Indian Wells tournament as Martic hit back to win 6-7(3) 6-4 7-5.
Britain’s Raducanu, the 11th seed, led 5-4 with a break but Martic reeled off three successive games to prevail in two hours and 46 minutes and yet this was a match that should give Raducanu so much encouragement.
The harshest of critics will suggest the teenager blinked when the winning post was in sight and allowed Martic to fight her way back into the match, but that would not be an accurate reflection of the match.
At this stage of Raducanu’s development, this was a performance that offered so much hope for the rest of 2022, with her stunning first set tie-break highlighting the sublime quality waiting to escape from the British youngster.
She may not be physically ready to win matches at the highest level on the WTA Tour week after week, but this is a waiting game that offers real hope that the future can reap big rewards.
Raducanu confirmed after the match that she was hampered by a stiff back that has been troubling her for the last few days and these minor niggles are inevitable for a player still adapting to life on the senior tour.
“I think it’s just part of not playing and having so much stop-start and having five, six days to prepare for matches and then playing at that intensity,” said Raducanu after the match.
“It was a tough one not being able to serve full out so I was having to work so hard just to hold. I’ve just got to get stronger.
“I’ve had it for the last few days, just a product of training hard and probably the last match was pretty intense too and it didn’t settle down.
“When you are crossing your fingers to hold serve every time, it’s tough. I couldn’t really drive up and I was kind of struggling to turn and reach. The margins were so small.”
There have been some suggestions that Raducanu may take a break and skip the Miami Open coming up later this month, but the Brit confirmed she intends to play in the next big event on the WTA Tour and that is what she needs to do.
Fatigue and injuries will inevitably be issues for Raducanu in the coming weeks and months, but the brilliance she showed in patches against Martic confirmed that her US Open win last September may not have been the one-hit-wonder some cynics have been suggesting it was.
Give Raducanu time to find her way on the WTA Tour and those doubters so eager for her to fail should be silenced.
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