Tennis: Tennis-Hampered Raducanu suffers defeat by Kovinic

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) -British teenage tennis star Emma Raducanu was unable to seek out the answer to her newest Grand Slam puzzle on Thursday, as a mix of a blistered racket hand and an impressed Danka Kovinic derailed her Australian Open plans within the second spherical.

The seventeenth seed, who rocketed to fame by successful final 12 months’s U.S. Open as a qualifier with out dropping a set, gritted her tooth by means of the discomfort to remain in competition in a tense conflict however fell to a 6-4 4-6 6-3 defeat.

Nineteen-year-old Raducanu, who beat former U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens within the first spherical to take her Grand Slam most important draw document to an unimaginable 11-1 from three occasions, wanted remedy after the fifth sport of the primary set.

With her hand taped she was unable to ship her typical baseline energy and resorted to slicing nearly each forehand.

Incredibly she turned the shot of selection for a lot of a membership hacker right into a weapon and at occasions the 98th-ranked Kovinic appeared at a loss to know the best way to deal with it.

But the 27-year-old Montenegran confirmed nice composure to dominate the deciding set and transfer into the third spherical of a Grand Slam for the primary time in her profession.

Raducanu was nonetheless smiling as she congratulated her opponent on the web and whereas the loss will sting like her blistered hand for some time, she is going to look again with few regrets and can regard the match as a part of her steep studying curve.

She additionally now is aware of she has a difficult sliced forehand choice for emergencies.

“I used to be combating my hand earlier than the match. There have been some folks in my staff that possibly did not need me to play, however I needed to go on the market and battle by means of it,” Raducanu mentioned.

“I assumed it was a reasonably good studying expertise for me. I found instruments about myself and my sport that I did not know I had earlier than. I can take some positives even from this match.”

There was little trace of the issues to come back as Raducanu got here out firing on a heat night on Margaret Court Arena, breaking her opponent’s serve twice to guide 3-0.

Kovinic quickly settled down although and commenced to strike the ball with menace as she took the subsequent two video games.

At the changeover Raducanu, who performed just one match within the build-up to the Open and misplaced that closely, requested for a medical timeout to have her blisters handled and tape utilized.

It clearly hampered her, particularly on the forehand, and Kovinic gained the subsequent three video games to guide 5-3. Raducanu managed to interrupt serve once more however Kovinic replied instantly to take the opening set.

Bizarrely, Kovinic saved hitting to Raducanu’s backhand facet within the second set and obtained more and more tight, dropping serve at 4-4 because the match went right into a decider.

Despite the blisters and lack of expertise, Raducanu regarded just like the favorite because the third set started.

But Kovinic dug deep to maintain in entrance at first of the decider with some aggressive hitting, and Raducanu regarded weary as she slipped to 2-5 down.

Serving for the match at 5-3, Kovinic noticed one match level disappear as Raducanu belted a forehand winner, however she transformed the second with a shocking backhand down the road.

“When she modified her sport somewhat bit, I obtained confused, like what is going on on?” mentioned Kovinic.

“When I began simply to focus alone sport, then I discovered composure once more and issues obtained higher.”

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, modifying by Pritha Sarkar and Hugh Lawson)



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