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Defending U.S. Open Champion Emma Raducanu Loses within the First Round

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Emma Raducanu, who won last 12 months’s U.S. Open as a little-known 18-year-old qualifier without losing a single set, won’t defend her title this 12 months after losing in the primary round to Alizé Cornet on Tuesday night.

For Cornet, a 32-year-old Frenchwoman ranked No. 40, the win, 6-3, 6-3, was her second major surprise victory of the 12 months after she upset No. 1 Iga Swiatek in straight sets within the third round of Wimbledon. Cornet achieved the most effective Grand Slam results of her profession earlier this 12 months on the Australian Open, where she reached the quarterfinals before losing to Danielle Collins, who went on to achieve the ultimate.

For Raducanu, now 19, the loss got here in what has been a difficult 12 months for her in Grand Slam tournaments. Raducanu reached only the second round at each of the primary three majors, losing to Danka Kovinic on the Australian Open, Aliaksandra Sasnovich on the French Open and Caroline Garcia at Wimbledon.

“I’m sorry I beat her tonight but I’m really pleased with my performance,” Cornet said on the court after the match. “I felt like I played a extremely solid match, I used to be fighting my heart out and hanging in there. I feel my game at the online was pretty good, I feel it was a little bit of every thing, twiddling with a little bit of variation, and it definitely worked tonight.”

Cornet and Raducanu stepped right into a breezy Louis Armstrong Stadium on Tuesday because the American flag hanging above the court moved swiftly from the beginning of the match through the top. They played before a modest crowd on an evening that featured Rafael Nadal on the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium at the identical time.

“Alizé’s defense was pretty good,” Raducanu said after the match, with a hat over her eyes. “I believed she was just scrapping every thing back. There have been junk balls in the midst of the court. With the wind blowing around, it was really difficult. She just kept getting it back.”

Raducanu added that she thought she wasn’t going for as many balls due to the windy conditions.

The match got off to an in depth start, with each player splitting the primary six games. Then, down 4-3 in the primary set, Raducanu did not tie up the set on her serve, double faulting to bring the match to 5-3.

Up 40-30 in the following game, Cornet threw her arms up into the air, calling for cheers from a crowd that had been supporting Raducanu from the start. Cornet went on to take the set, 6-3, with a forehand winner.

The set was the primary Raducanu had dropped in her profession on the U.S. Open.

“I’m going to drop down the rankings and climb my way back up,” she said. “In a way the goal will probably be off my back barely. I just have one other probability to claw my way back up there.”

After the primary set, a medical trainer was called onto the court, and gave the impression to be treating Raducanu’s right hand. Raducanu struggled with blisters earlier this 12 months.

Raducanu said she has been coping with blisters while in the USA, adding that it may very well be due to the humidity in some cities along the tour.

“You tape it up and move on it,” she said. “It’s a blister — not much you may do about it. It’s what it’s. Sometimes these items occur in these conditions.”

Cornet took the primary game of the second set, and Raducanu took the following game, after which one other, winning the ultimate point with an ace.

Then down 40-15, Cornet decided to go together with a drop shot that Raducanu couldn’t reach, but Raducanu got here back quickly, winning the following point to go up 3-1.

Cornet pushed the set to 3-2 with a backhand winner, and she or he then tied the set at three games apiece without giving up any points. Cornet took the following game to go up 4-3, as Raducanu lost the break with a backhand unforced error into the online.

As she stepped back onto the court, down 4-3, Raducanu looked up into the group as if she were looking for someone or something. The group responded with several people yelling “c’mon, Emma.”

Serving at 4-3, Cornet took the following game, with Raducanu hitting into the online on the ultimate point.

Raducanu did not extend the match on her serve. Down 40-30, Raducanu hit a backhand volley out, giving Cornet the win.

The match would have been significant for Cornet even when she had lost. This 12 months’s U.S. Open is Cornet’s 63rd consecutive appearance within the predominant draw of a Grand Slam tournament, a record streak within the Open era that began on the 2007 Australian Open, where she lost in the primary round.

While the U.S. Open is the last Grand Slam of the 12 months, Raducanu said she’s going to consider playing in other tournaments.

“It may very well be exciting for me to start out my type of climb back up there,” she said. “How far can I’m going till the top of 12 months?”

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