Raducanu reaches Indian Wells third round


INDIAN WELLS, California: Emma Raducanu knocked out Polish 20th seed Magda Linette 7-6(3), 6-2 on Saturday (Mar 11) to reach the third round of Indian Wells and notch her biggest win since triumphing at the US Open in 2021.

The 20-year-old Briton fell into a 4-1 first set hole but rallied from there, dictating points with her forehand to push Linette deep into the court.

She sealed the win by whipping a forehand winner down the line to bring the fans to their feet on a warm and windy day in the Southern California desert.

The win marked Raducanu’s first back-to-back victories since September and is a hopeful sign that she may be moving beyond the multiple health issues that have beset her of late.

She suffered an ankle injury in the lead-up to January’s Australian Open, tonsillitis that forced her to withdraw ahead of last week’s Austin Open and a flaring up of the wrist injury, which had cut short her 2022 season and required attention from a physiotherapist on Saturday.

“I’d say I feel more positive about my game today,” Raducanu told reporters.

“The first day I didn’t really know what was going on. Today I felt pretty decent out there, especially with the conditions. It was really windy and I did well to overcome it.”

She will next face either Czech Katerina Siniakova or Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Elsewhere, Czech Karolina Muchova scored an impressive 7-6(1), 6-3 win in her tournament debut over two-time champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Czech Marketa Vondrousova crushed her compatriot, the 28th-seeded Marie Bouzkova 6-1, 6-1.

On the men’s side, Italian 11th seed Jannik Sinner beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-3, 7-6(2), eighth seed Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada was a 7-6(5), 6-4 winner over Spain’s Pedro Martinez and Jack Draper won an all-British battle against 24th seed Dan Evans 6-4, 6-2.

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