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US Open: Emma Raducanu’s title defence ends in defeat by Alize Cornet | Briton hopes exit will be ‘a clean slate’ | Tennis News

Emma Raducanu of Great Britain reacts against Alize Cornet of France in their Women's Singles First Round match on Day Two of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 30, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Emma Raducanu’s US Open title defense ended at the first hurdle with a straight-set nightmare for France’s Alize Cornet at New York’s Flushing Meadows.

Raducanu didn’t drop a set in 10 games last year, but she was prone to error on a windy night in New York and fell to a 6-3 6-3 loss.

The 19-year-old’s ranking will now drop to around 80, but after a year that was far from easy, she may feel a sense of relief that this moment is over and can try to build a firmer foundation for her. tennis career.

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Raducanu, who did not lose a set in 10 games last year, was disappointed, but was delighted with the clean slate that the loss will bring.

“Of course it is very disappointing, I am very sorry to leave here. It is probably my favorite tournament,” said Raducanu.

“But in a way I’m happy too, because it’s a clean slate. I’m going down the rankings. Climb my way back up. The target will be a little off my back.”

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Action from day two of the US Open, where Emma Raducanu’s title defense ended in the first round, Rafael Nadal battled for the win and there was a loss for Naomi Osaka.

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“I’ve done a really good job especially in the last six weeks. I’m just looking forward to consistently putting more of those weeks together, then we’ll see what happens.

“With perspective, actually I haven’t had a bad year as a 19-year-old. To be top 100, if you told me a year ago, I’d take it.”

The fans who found themselves in a sparsely populated Louis Armstrong Stadium gave Raducanu a warm welcome as they welcomed their most unlikely champions.

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Action from day two of the US Open, where Carlos Alcaraz produced a magical moment in his victory over Sebastian Baez and Venus Williams was knocked out in the first round.

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Virginia Wade, who witnessed Raducanu’s success last year, was back in court, while the big difference in the Kent teenager’s support camp is now the presence of Russian Dmitry Tursunov, who puts them to the test while she is looking for a permanent coach.

The wind affected the match from the start, with Raducanu having a particularly hard time winning the same one back
free-swing approach that left her opponents flat footed, but spoke in building a determination to stand on the front foot.

She hadn’t lost more than five games in a set last year, but Cornet came out on the right side of three consecutive breaks and led 5-3 in the opener, showing excellent defensive power to take the set.

The Frenchwoman, who played in a record 63rd Grand Slam, had one of the best seasons of her career, with a highly anticipated first major quarter-final in Australia before ending Iga Swiatek’s unbeaten run of 37 games at Wimbledon.

Raducanu took a medical time out to nurse blisters on her fingers and dropped the serve again to start the second set.

However, Cornet gave away many free points due to double faults, and while the 32-year-old was unlucky to see the roof closed during the game, Raducanu went on to play three games in a row.

But unable to hold onto the advantage, Cornet broke back with the worst drop shots and pulled back to claim the win.

Raducanu vs Cornet: Match Stats

Raducanu Match Statistics Cornet
2 aces 1
2 Double mistakes 9
50% Win percentage 1st service 64%
30% Win percentage 2nd service 38%
15 Total number of winners 22
31 Unforced Errors 22
51/117 Total points won 66/117

Swiatek storms on but Wimbledon champion is out

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek swept in the second round with a comfortable win over Jasmine Paolini.

Swiatek hasn’t been on top form since her 37-game winning run ended at Wimbledon, but she had no qualms overcoming Italy’s Paolini 6-3 6-0 in blistering conditions at Flushing Meadows.

“I feel like my level is just better,” said the Pole. “We’ll see if I can keep that up.”

Swiatek will try to improve on her best run yet in New York, which came last year when she reached the fourth round.

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina was an early victim, losing to the French qualifier Clara Burel 6-4 6-4.

Elena Rybakina in action during a women's singles match at the 2022 US Open, Tuesday, August 30, 2022 in Flushing, NY.  (Brad Penner/USTA via AP)
Image:
Elena Rybakina fell at the first hurdle at Flushing Meadows

Rybakina said ahead of the tournament that she doesn’t feel like she’s being treated like a Grand Slam champion and that a planned placement on the small Court 12 wouldn’t have changed that.

former champion Sloane Stephens fought back from a set-down, beating Greet Minnen 1-6 6-3 6-3, while Karolina Pliskova defeated Magda Linette 6-2 4-6 7-6 (10-8).

fourth seed Paula Badosa also had to come out of a set to beat Lesia Tsurenko while sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka eased to a 6-1 6-3 win over Catherine Harrison.

American eighth seed Jessica Pegula beat Viktorija Golubic 6-2 6-2 while two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza also advanced in straight sets, beating Clara Tauson 6-3 7-6 (7-5).

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