Emma Raducanu after Australian Open exit amid hand blisters: 'I didn't want to go out like that'
Andy Murray after Australian Open defeat: "Tonight is not good enough in that respect. You know, making the second round of slams is not something I find particularly motivating. I want to be doing better than that."
Last Updated: 21/01/22 7:04am
Emma Raducanu was proud of her fighting spirit after revealing she might not even have taken to the court for her second-round match at the Australian Open.
The US Open champion was beaten 6-4 4-6 6-3 by Montenegro's Danka Kovinic in a bizarre match that saw her reduced to hitting slice forehands because of a painful blister on her right hand.
Raducanu took a medical time-out for treatment after only five games and was hampered throughout but somehow won the second set before going down in three.
"It was a difficult match," said the 19-year-old. "I was struggling with my hand before the match. There were some people in my team that maybe didn't want me to play but I wanted to go out there and fight through it, see how far I could get.
"But I thought it was a pretty good learning experience for me. I discovered tools about myself and my game that I didn't know I had before so I can take some positives even from this match."
Raducanu was forced off court for three weeks last month after contracting Covid-19, and she said: "I have been struggling with blisters since I started playing really in Australia because 21 days, no tennis, my hands got pretty soft.
"From day one, day two, I was getting blisters pop up here and there. This particular one has been with me for about five days and I have been trying to tape it for every practice, and it would harden and dry out, but then once I would play again, another layer would just keep ripping off.
"It ended up being pretty deep. It's a bit annoying because I know it's something that will heal in a few days, but it's just unfortunate timing."
Asked if she had considered pulling out during the match, as she did in her only previous grand slam defeat with breathing problems in the fourth round of Wimbledon, Raducanu added: "When I was slicing forehands and really struggling, I was, like, 'Do I?'
"I fought so hard just to come out to Australia and play here, and I didn't want to go out like that. So I just left it all out on the court."
By the start of the second set, the 19-year-old was hitting almost exclusively slice forehands - a rarely-used shot in the professional game - but it unsettled Kovinic.
"That was definitely one thing I learned, that a nice slice forehand is not so bad and I have some sort of hand skills. That was a positive surprise. To get that second set with basically one shot, I can't believe it really."
Murray: 'An important year - I wasn't good enough'
"I'm really, really disappointed. Very frustrated. A tough loss for me, that's for sure," Andy Murray said after losing to the world number 120 Taro Daniel 6-4 6-4 6-4.
"I made way too many errors today. Yeah, wasn't able to turn it around today, but he definitely was solid today. He moved well and deserved to win."
Three years and two hip operations after he sat in the interview room tearfully proclaiming his career over, Murray said whether he returned to Melbourne Park in 2023 depended on how he got on at big events in 2022.
"This is a really important year for me for a number of reasons, and I want to perform well in the big events," the three-times Grand Slam champion added.
"For me, tonight is not good enough in that respect. You know, making the second round of slams is not something I find particularly motivating. I want to be doing better than that."