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It’s trouble my heart: Emma Raducanu out in Miami Open first round

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Two former US Open champions went head to head in the first round of the Miami Open, as Emma Raducanu faced Bianca Andreescu. Ultimately, after a three-set contest, the British player was sent home, losing 6-3 3-6 6-2.

There are similarities in both players’ games and their career trajectories – both US Open champions as teenagers, before struggling with injury in recent years. And it translated into a match where the two had opportunities to showcase their form, in an intense clash. They had met once before, Andreescu coming out on top then, and so it would be the second time around.

The Canadian was aggressive from the start, enabling her to take the first set and then break Raducanu in the second. She’d established a lead that she maintained for the rest of the set, and then used a selection of powerful serves and groundstrokes to make it 3-0. After two holds, shared between the two champions, Raducanu had to save break points on her set. That meant the Andreescu had to serve out the set herself at 5-3 ahead, and she did so with little difficulty.

It was Raducanu’s turn to amp up the aggression in the second set, and it played dividends. There were rallies aplenty, and the British player managed to etch out a 4-3 lead. Raducanu had her second break point of the match, and Andreescu put up a real fight, saving six of them to keep things alive. Eventually, on her seventh attempt, she got he better of the Canadian, making it 5-3, and then she had the chance to serve out the set and make things all even.

“I feel like this year has been difficult in the sense that I have been managing a few existing injuries and that has been annoying and frustrating because I’ve been working as best as I can.”

Raducanu was first on the board, and then Andreescu levelled. The Canadian carved out a 2-1 lead, but then failed to convert any of her three break points, meaning Raducanu levelled herself at 2-2. From then on, though, all the momentum was with Andreescu, who forged a 4-2 lead, remaining consistent as her opponent dropped. She then saved a break point in her own service game to move one from victory, before advancing as Raducanu sent a forehand wide to win after two hours and 33 minutes.

After the match, Andreescu said: “You never know what you’re going to expect, I just wanted to play my best with what I had and I think I did that. Emma played amazing and is an incredible player. I have a lot of respect for her and her results show how good she is.”

Raducanu indicated that she would seek further advice on dealing with her wrist injury: “It’s something I’ve been managing for some time. I just need to review after this tournament really and figure out what my next steps are. I’m able to play in the short term but the current solutions aren’t very viable long term. I feel like this year has been difficult in the sense that I have been managing a few existing injuries and that has been annoying and frustrating because I’ve been working as best as I can.”

Andreescu will face Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the second round – they’ve met twice before, and both of them won one of their closely-fought previous matches.

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