Reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu fails to reach the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open


Agony for Emma Raducanu as young Brit falls just short of reaching Madrid Open quarter-finals after a three-set defeat by Anhelina Kalinina

  • Raducanu failed to progress through to the quarter-finals on the Madrid Open
  • She lost 6-2 2-6 6-4 to Anhelina Kalinina after two hours and eighteen minutes
  • Raducanu, 19, had to leave the court after the first set to get some treatment 
  • She then had a couple of slips at 4-4 in the decider and that was the difference

The search for a deep run at a tournament outside a Grand Slam goes on for Emma Raducanu, who agonisingly missed out on the quarter finals of the Madrid Open last night.

A third straight win at a tournament beckoned for the first time since New York, only for her to be edged by Anhelina Kalinina, one of the Ukrainians currently competing on the tour with a fire inside.

Raducanu cited more physical issues as she narrowly went down 6-2 2-6 6-4 after two hours and eighteen minutes, during which there was precious little to separate the two players.

Emma Raducanu (above) failed to progress through to the quarter-finals on the Madrid Open 

Having felt pain in her lower back earlier this week, the US Open champion left the court for treatment after the first set, and was much improved thereafter.

‘Throughout the week I have been carrying some niggles,’ said Raducanu, who curiously had no personal trainer or physio with her this week.

‘It’s kind of taking its toll, all of the matches at this kind of level. I think that’s a good thing, I feel like I’m going through this and my body is building with each match I play.

‘A lot of the time with me it’s just overload. I was really struggling to move out wide, but credit to her, she gave me nothing.’

Raducanu (R) lost 6-2 2-6 6-4 to Anhelina Kalinina (L) after two hours and eighteen minutes

Raducanu (R) lost 6-2 2-6 6-4 to Anhelina Kalinina (L) after two hours and eighteen minutes

Kalinina (above) is one of the Ukrainians currently competing on the tour with a fire inside

Kalinina (above) is one of the Ukrainians currently competing on the tour with a fire inside

Kalinina is not one of the better-known Ukrainian women but showed why she has been good enough to beat three Grand Slam champions in a row.

She struck the ball superbly in the opening set and Raducanu, who had been holding her lower back early on, had little response.

After the hiatus caused by her treatment the Kent teenager closed off her opponent’s highly effective cross court backhand and served more consistently, extracting far more errors from the other end.

Louis Cayer, the veteran LTA coach being used as a part-time technical consultant, was watching courtside and would have been pleased.

Kalinina left the court after the second set and she rediscovered her range to go 3-1 up. The pendulum swung both ways thereafter in the kind of match which showed why women’s tennis has so few players able to establish any kind of superiority right now.

Raducanu, 19, had to leave the court after the first set to get some treatment from the physio

Raducanu, 19, had to leave the court after the first set to get some treatment from the physio  

Earlier Jack Draper showed that he will already be a threat at Wimbledon this summer, for which he looks set to be automatically qualified.

The 20 year-old’s rapid improvement was further emphasised when he came close to defeating world number eight Andrey Rublev before being pipped 2-6 6-4 7-5 in the second round.

Having started the season at 265 he is now on the cusp of the top 100, which ought to see him straight into The Championships without the need of a wildcard.

The power of his southpaw serve and forehand had the Russian – whose own groundstrokes are huge – rocked back on his heels for a lot of the match.

Draper did not quite have the knowhow to close the match out from 3-0 in the decider, and played a slightly loose game at 5-5, but it is little wonder that he is being talked about as having top ten potential.

‘I’m gutted that I couldn’t sustain my level and come through the match, but at the same time, this week’s a new experience for me, being on the clay in a top event like this and playing a top-10 player,” he said.

‘I surprised myself a little that I can play a very high level on the clay. I still feel like I’ve got so much more in me. There is such a long way to go in all areas, which is really exciting.’

The 19-year-old then had a couple of slips at 4-4 in the decider and that was the difference

The 19-year-old then had a couple of slips at 4-4 in the decider and that was the difference

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