Emma Raducanu news: US Open champ retires in WTA’s longest match of year as ‘feisty Dasha’ advances

Shahida Jacobs
A disappointed Emma Raducanu after defeat

They battled for three hours and 36 minutes, but in the end Daria Saville was the last player standing as Emma Raducanu retired from their opening-round clash at the Abierto Akron Zapopan.

With both players competing on the WTA Tour for the first time since the Australian Open, it was unsurprising that they struggled in a match that ended up being the longest on the Tour in 2022, beating the three hour and nine-minute clash between Danka Kovinic and Jang Su-Jeong at the Australian Open.

In the end, former world No 20 Saville progressed with a 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 4-3 victory.

Raducanu made a poor start to the match as she lost the opening game, but broke back immediately only for the Australian to edge ahead in game three again. However, the US Open champion got back on serve in game six as she broke to love and then broke again in an extended game 12 to take the first set in 80 minutes.

The world No 12 then raced into a 3-0 lead in the second set, but Saville was back on serve in game five and it kicked off a run of five consecutive breaks of serve as the British No 1 failed to serve out the match at 5-3.

After going down an early mini-break in the tie-breaker, world No 610 Saville broke twice and then served it out on her first set point to take it to a decider.

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Both players required medical timeouts in the third set with cramps forcing Saville to seek help at the start of the third set while Raducanu also required treatment off court on her leg early in the set.

The top-seeded Raducanu re-appeared with her left leg strapped and played two more games before deciding to retire down a break to bring an end to the longest match of the year on the women’s Tour.

“This is probably the first match in a long time when I felt like I was being myself,” Saville said. “I was being feisty Dasha. I just want to keep on working and keep on going here.”