Skip to content

Emma Raducanu: The Briton's return to the court after her US Open triumph ends in defeat at Indian Wells

US Open champion Emma Raducanu was denied a meeting her her idol Simona Halep after being given a reality check in Indian Wells; Andy Murray ensured there was British success, beating Adrian Mannarino in his first-round match to set up a meeting with Carlos Alcaraz

Emma Raducanu of Great Britain shows her dejection during her straight sets defeat against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus in their second round match on Day 5 of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 08, 2021 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Image: Emma Raducanu was denied a dream meeting with her idol Simona Halep after suffering a straight sets defeat against Aliaksandra Sasnovich in Indian Wells on Friday

Emma Raducanu was given a reality check as she stumbled to defeat in her first match since winning the US Open last month, falling 6-2 6-4 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the second round of Indian Wells on Friday.

It has been 27 days since the 18-year-old stunned the world to become the queen of New York in a fairytale story, but she could not reproduce that level in the Californian desert, going down to the Belarussian world No 100.

Raducanu was given the headline slot in the Friday night evening session, but she could not live up to her billing as the super attacking style that served her so well at the US Open proved her downfall early on, and then she squandered a lead in the second set as Sasnovich won four games in a row to seal victory.

Had it not been for that incredible win last month, this defeat for 17th seed Raducanu would have been entirely expected as Sasnovich, currently ranked at 100, is a former top 30 player and an experienced head on the WTA Tour.

The Briton is anything but and, despite already having a Grand Slam in her trophy at home, this was just her third tour-level tournament and she is still waiting for her first win.

Expectations may have been high externally, but Raducanu is mature enough to know that everything is not going to be plain sailing.

"I think it's going to take me time to adjust really to what's going on," she said. "I mean, I'm still so new to everything.

Also See:

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Raducanu does not need to 'press the panic button' following her first-round exit at Indian Wells, according to tennis broadcaster Barry Cowan.

"Like the experiences that I'm going through right now, even though I might not feel 100 per cent amazing right now, I know they're for the greater good.

"For the bigger picture, I'll be thanking this moment. So, that's the lesson I think, that you can easily get sucked into being so focused on the result and getting disappointed.

"I mean, I'm 18 years old. I need to cut myself some slack.

"I'm still very, very new to the tour. I think that experience just comes from playing week in, week out and experiencing all these different things.

Sasnovich will next face Simona Halep in the third round of the WTA 1000 event, while Raducanu will dust herself down and move on to the next one, where she is due to play in Moscow in the Kremlin Cup later this month.

Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates after defeating Adrian Mannarino of France during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on October 08, 2021 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Image: Andy Murray was back in business as the former world No 1 sealed a comfortable win over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the first round of Indian Wells

Andy Murray was reunited with his wedding ring and some of his best tennis as he beat Adrian Mannarino in their first-round match.

The 35-year-old fared much better than Raducanu as he delivered the sort of tennis that used to see him win Grand Slams before needing a metal hip in a 6-3 6-2 win over Frenchman Mannarino.

"It's nice to be back and I felt like a competed well and it was nice that so many people came out and supported," Murray said during his on-court interview.

"I thought I competed well and I played to how the conditions allowed, I don't feel like I tried to overplay."

It was more evidence that Murray's desire to compete at the top of the game may be possible as the fruits of a sustained run of matches on the ATP Tour are beginning to show.

The Briton will face talented 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in the second round as he looks to improve on his best career finish at the tournament in 2015, when he reached the semi-finals.

Don't forget to follow us on, our Twitter account @skysportstennis & Sky Sports - on the go! Available to download now on - iPhone & iPad and Android

Around Sky