Emma Raducanu Advances To The Third Round At Indian Wells Defeating Magda Linette 7-6 6-2
It had been another complicated week for Emma Raducanu but it ended last night with her best win by ranking since the US Open nearly eighteen months ago.
The 20 year-old from Kent is into the third round at Indian Wells after defeating world number 21 Magda Linette 7-6 6-2.
Raducanu had a recent bout of tonsillitis and been complaining of problems in her wrist, but for all that she struck the ball purposefully with a ruthless performance that seemed to unsettle her opponent. She was left awaiting the winner of Czech Katerina Siniakova and Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia.
She needed some medication to keep her wrist at bay, but you would hardly have known it, judging by the sweetness of her forehand.
From the start Raducanu looked more comfortable than she had in the first round, which was played in a difficult breeze.
Emma Raducanu will advance to the third round at Indian Wells after beating Magda Linette
Raducanu defeated her opponent (pictured) 7-6 6-2 following her bout with tonsillitis
The Brit had been complaining of some problems in her wrist and needed some medication
She struck the ball positively, but Linette is much improved this season, as shown by her run to the semi-finals of the Australian Open. The Pole profited from a couple of sloppy volleying errors to move ahead for 4-1, but Raducanu was already causing her problems with her heavier pace on the ball.
There was also no sign of the coughing from her first match, and she deservedly got back to 4-4 and then decisively broke for 6-5. It was then that the British player saw the physio and took a painkiller as she pointed to the strapping on her right wrist.
In the next game she was broken to love, but in the tiebreak Raducanu – her defence out wide especially impressive – got ahead early and was the more composed as she took it 7-3.
Confidence has been an elusive thing in another stop-start season for the former US Open champion, but it was clearly seeping back in she broke for 3-1. Linette was looking forlorn by the end as she was broken again, Raducanu having given a timely reminder of her unusual talent and determination.
Her claim that she is unaware of when Britain are next playing in the Billie Jean King Cup next month had earlier appeared to have caused a distinct raising of the eyebrows from Captain Anne Keothavong.
Ahead of the second round, Keothavong took the unusual step of using Twitter to express surprise at the admission of her number one player.
Following her first round win in the Californian desert Raducanu was asked about her participation in the team event’s World finals qualifier, which will take place next month in Coventry against France.
Billie Jean King Cup captain Anne Keothavong has raised her eyebrows at Raducanu’s suggestion that she did not know when the tournament is set to take place
Raducanu left her position in the team unclear, saying: ‘I’ll decide (on my participation) later.’
‘I don’t even know when it is, to be honest,’ the former US Open champion said. ‘I haven’t thought about it. I’ve just been so in my zone as I’ve said. I’ll decide (on my participation) later.’
Overnight Keothavong responded to one report of her comment with a thinking face emoji. Separately she posted the observation, seemingly in reference to that: ‘My communication skills are generally good in case anyone was wondering.’
It somewhat stretches belief that the meticulously-prepared Raducanu would not know that she and her GB team-mates were playing on April 14-15, barely a month away. The dates have long been established, even though the Lawn Tennis Association left it very late to secure a venue for a match expected to be played in a 6,000-capacity arena.
Now there is the prospect of a drama involving the squad’s best-known player in the lead-up to the tie.
This always appeared on the cards, because of how close it is to the Porsche Grand Prix tournament in Stuttgart, which takes place the following week, also indoors but on clay.
With Porsche among Raducanu’s portfolio of sponsors it is an event she needs to commit to, and there would only be a few days for her to adjust to the different surface. It is unthinkable that this cannot have been on the radar of her and her management.
Raducanu played in the corresponding qualifier last year away to the Czech Republic, but withdrew from the finals event in Glasgow due to the wrist problems which ended her 2022 season early.
While GB ended up doing well in Glasgow to make the semi-finals, the absence of the top player would leave the team without anyone from the top 100 singles.
Harriet Dart is the next highest ranked at 109 while Jodie Burrage, Heather Watson, Katie Boulter and Katie Swan are clustered below that.