Emma Raducanu is thrashed 6-0, 6-1 in just 55 MINUTES in her first match of 2022 – a week before the start of the Australian Open and the first Grand Slam since her stunning US Open victory
- Emma Raducanu has suffered her first loss of 2022, against Elena Rybakina
- Raducanu was heavily beaten in Sydney, one week before the Australian Open
- Rybakina beat the 19-year-old star 6-0, 6-1 in just 55 minutes of action
- Raducanu won only 50 per cent of her first serves and 13 per cent of her second
- The result came during her first match under her new coach Torben Beltz
Emma Raducanu suffered a dreadful defeat in her first match of 2022, winning only one game against Elena Rybakina, less than a week before the start of the Australian Open.
The 19-year-old is set to take part in her first Grand Slam since her historic US Open win and had hoped to prepare for the competition by winning the Sydney International.
However, Rybakina – who is currently ranked 13th in the world, five places higher than Raducanu – beat the GB star 6-0, 6-1 in just 55 minutes of action.
Emma Raducanu suffered her first loss of 2022 to Elena Rybakina in the Sydney International
Raducanu’s defeat came in the opening round of the Sydney International. She was originally meant to face Iga Swiatek – the world No 9 and 2020 French Open champion.
However, Swiatek withdrew from the competition with a rib injury and was replaced in her seeded position by Rybakina.
The switch should have been favourable for Raducanu – who was making her return to tennis after withdrawing from last week’s Melbourne Summer Set.
Raducanu was originally meant to face Iga Swiatek – the world No 9 and 2020 French Open champion – but ended up facing world No 13 Rybakina (pictured) instead
Rybakina (left) beat the 19-year-old star (right) 6-0, 6-1 in just 55 minutes of action
The 19-year-old withdrew from the competition as she felt it was ‘too soon’ to compete again after previously testing positive for coronavirus ahead of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi in December, days before she was crowned the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year for her incredible achievement in New York last September.
Nevertheless, Raducanu returned to the court for the first time this season to face Rybakina.
The British player was overpowered by her opponent, fresh off a run to the final of the Adelaide International last week, and lost the first nine games of the match.
Raducanu flashed a smile after avoiding the indignity of a shut-out in the 10th game but she continued to be let down by a poor second-serve percentage.
The British player was overpowered by her opponent, fresh off a run to the final in Adelaide
The Sydney International marked Raducanu’s eighth professional tournament and the defeat came during her first match under her new coach Torben Beltz (left)
The 19-year-old won just 50 per cent of her first serves and 13 per cent of her second during the opener.
Whereas her opponent, Rybakina, won 82 per cent of her first serves and 57 per cent of her second.
Raducanu saved the first two match points against her with arguably her two best shots of the match, before succumbing to the inevitable as Rybakina eased into the last 16.
The Sydney International marked only Raducanu’s eighth professional tournament and the defeat came during her first match under her new coach Torben Beltz.
The 19-year-old won just 50 per cent of her first serves and 13 per cent of her second in the opener. Whereas Rybakina won 82 per cent of her first serves and 57 per cent of her second
Nevertheless, Beltz – who helped Angelique Kerber win two of her three Grand Slam titles and claim the world No 1 spot – will be confident Raducanu can turn it around in time for the Australian Open.
The British star has just six days to rediscover her form ahead of the season-opening Major.
She will enter her third Grand Slam tournament as the 17th seed compared to her qualifier and wildcard status at last year’s US Open and Wimbledon respectively.