Emma Raducanu: Briton exits Upper Austria Ladies Linz at the hands of Chinese qualifier Wang Xinyu
Playing her first tournament as a top 20 player, Emma Raducanu exits the Upper Austria Ladies Linz after a gruelling defeat to hot Chinese prospect Wang Xinyu after two hours and 36 minutes of high-intense tennis; the British No 1 will now prepare for the Australian Open in January
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 09/11/21 9:39pm
Emma Raducanu exited the Upper Austria Ladies Linz at the hands of impressive Chinese qualifier Wang Xinyu to bring the curtain down on her breakthrough season.
The US Open champion came in as the highest-ranked player at the WTA event in Austria and looking to build on her first two main tour victories in Romania last month.
But the Chinese player, who at 106 is close to breaking into the top 100, showed just why she is so highly regarded as she stormed through the opening set.
Raducanu displayed her incredible powers of recovery to turn the match around before a thigh problem late in the deciding set put pay to her hopes. Despite battling on she eventually went down 6-1 6-7 (0-7) 7-5.
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Former junior prospect Wang came into the match in good form having already won three matches this week - two in qualifying and then a first-round victory over Kateryna Kozlova on Monday.
She has shown encouraging form under her new British coach, Iain Hughes, and the 20-year-old from Shenzhen carved the Raducanu serve open before surging into a 3-1 lead.
The British teenager was unable to cope with Wang's attacking style on the slower indoor TipsArena hardcourt and it was not long before the Chinese No 4 broke through again to take full control of the opening set.
Wang came out on top of an 18-shot rally and she soon sealed a one-sided set with her 13th winner.
Raducanu cleared her head in time for the start of the second set when she broke Wang. But she was unable to consolidate it with her opponent responding immediately and then holding in stirring fashion for 2-1.
The 18-year-old from Kent gritted her teeth and dug deep to hold serve in the next game before she upped the tempo to hit the front once again.
Raducanu held to love to open up a 4-2 advantage, but there was to be another momentum shift as Wang won three games in a row to close in on a place in the next round.
The British No 1 stayed in contention to send an already thrilling contest into a tie-breaker, which she utterly dominated to set up a deciding set shootout.
In a top-quality encounter, both players motored through their opening couple of service games, while Raducanu's grit enabled her to stay ahead.
Just as she appeared to be taking control, Raducanu clutched her right thigh during a physically draining eighth game.
Despite attempting to stretch out her leg, Wang saw her opening to make the breakthrough, which she duly accepted.
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The doctor was called on to court to assess Raducanu and following a medical time-out, her hopes appeared to be all but over. However, Wang failed to take two match points, while the feisty young Brit took her break point opportunity to level things up at 5-5 in dramatic circumstances.
But a third consecutive break of serve followed and despite Raducanu's fighting spirit, Wang finally extinguished her hopes to make it over the winning line.
Wang will take on American eighth seed Alison Riske in the quarter-finals after the former world No 18 defeated Alize Cornet 6-4 6-4.
Murray to face Sinner in Sweden
Andy Murray will take on top seed Jannik Sinner in the second round of the Stockholm Open after defeating qualifier Viktor Durasovic.
Norwegian Durasovic, ranked 354, put up a good fight in the second set having been overwhelmed in the opener but Murray survived another tight tie-break to win 6-1 7-6 (9-7).
The former world No 1 will now take on 20-year-old Italian Sinner, who narrowly missed out on a place at the ATP Finals.
Murray is trialling a new coach this week in Esteban Carril with a view to the Spaniard joining Jamie Delgado in the Scot's team for next season.