Emma Raducanu marches on in Indian Wells after thrilling win

Emma Raducanu at Indian Wells

Emma Raducanu advanced to the last 16 of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells for the first time as she battled her way to a 6-1 2-6 6-4 win over 13th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Raducanu, who has overcome a wrist injury and illness, had to dig deep in a contest lasting more than two hours before claiming a win that ranks as her best since her 2021 US Open triumph.

Raducanu’s serve was in full flow as she cruised through the opening set inside 34 minutes, but it deserted her in the second, the Briton double faulting four times as Haddad Maia turned the tide and Raducanu lost her first set of the tournament.

The world number 77 saved a break point to hold for 2-2 in the decider before going on to break the Brazilian for a 4-3 lead.

She set up two further break points, but Haddad Maia made her serve it out, which she duly did.

“I’m extremely happy with the way I fought and dug in [during] the third set,” said Raducanu.

“I dropped my intensity a little bit in the second and against such a great opponent like Beatriz, that’s enough.

“It’s a 6-2 set before you know it. I was really happy with how I managed to regain my focus and intensity, and come back in the third.

“For me, it’s pretty amazing. I haven’t really prepared for this tournament, I haven’t really practiced.

“To come out here and play at this level and be competitive is a great sign for me. I did put two great weeks back home in London.

“To see those coming through and showing on the match court at crucial points sometimes is really exciting for me.”

Make no mistake, this was a massive victory for Raducanu, as she rebuilt confidence shone through when she needed to perform in the third set.

Her limited expectations heading into this event may have helped her cause as she is playing with a freedom we have not seen since he iconic US Open triumph in 2021.

Power hitting from the back of the court, fearless attacking play and clinical touches at the net contributed to a polished performance.

Raducanu will play either world number one Iga Swiatek or Bianca Andreescu in the next round in what is certain to be a blockbuster fourth round encounter.

She may be an outsider to progress in that match, but Raducanu’s performances in her latest tournament confirm she has what it takes to compete and beat top 20 players when she is fit and at firing.

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