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Defending champion Emma Raducanu crashes out of the US Open in the first round

Max Sherry

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Defending champion Emma Raducanu crashes out of the US Open in the first round

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Twitter/US Open

Emma Raducanu is out of the US Open.

The tournament's defending champion has lost her first-round clash at Flushing Meadows, bowing out in straight sets at the hands of France's Alize Cornet.

The loss will undoubtedly come as a huge disappointment to Raducanu who made history at last year's US Open.

12 months ago, the teenager became the first singles qualifier to win a grand slam title in the Open Era.

The victory catapulted Raducanu into superstardom with TV deals, endorsements and global fame all coming her way.

But while her life away from tennis has been a whirlwind, her performances on the court have been anything but as she has struggled to find form.

Now, exactly one year on from her famous win, and the Brit has been sent crashing out of the same tournament which she conquered not too long ago.

After losing the opening set, Raducanu was leading 3-1 in the second.

But the 19-year-old was dealt a crushing blow when she required medical attention for the painful blisters on her hands.

She did return, however, she appeared completely thrown off by her injuries and subsequently lost the remaining games.

The Brit is expected to plummet down the WTA rankings.

"Really sad to leave here. It’s probably my favourite tournament. But also in a way happy because it’s a clean slate," Raducanu said in her post-match interview at the Louis Armstrong Stadium.

"I’m gonna drop down the rankings and climb my way back up. The target is off my back. I have another chance to claw my way back up there."

Even Cornet felt belt, admitting: "I'm sorry, guys. I know you really like Emma. She's a great player and a great person."

As for Cornet herself, she's in red-hot form.

Not only did she recently break world No.1 Iga Swiatek's 37-match winning streak at Wimbledon, but the 31-year-old has now managed to make it past the opening match at all four major tournaments in a calendar year for the first time since 2014.

“I think it was a bit of everything,” Cornet said.

“I did a lot of variation and I think that’s what worked tonight, but I should definitely keep the drop shot in my game.”

“I think I’m just handling my emotions better,” she continued in the post-match press conference.

“I guess I’m getting old and getting more mature and now when I have to serve for the match I stay in the match and stay in the present moment and really think about what I have to do.

“I think managing my emotions is just much better and I’m really happy because it shows in my results. It’s good because I’m 32, and it’s better late than never.”

Topics: Australia, Tennis, US Open, Emma Raducanu

Max Sherry
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