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Emma Raducanu: Former US Open champion breezes past Rebeka Masarova in Indian Wells

Emma Raducanu moved into the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells with victory in straight sets over Rebeka Masarova; You can watch Indian Wells live on Sky Sports plus over 80 tournaments a year, including the US Open, exclusively live on Sky Sports Tennis

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Emma Raducanu came through in straight sets against Rebeka Masarova in the first round at Indian Wells

Emma Raducanu made short work of qualifier Rebeka Masarova at Indian Wells on Thursday, claiming a straight-sets victory to ease through the first round.

The 21-year-old, given a wild card at this tournament, set up a meeting with Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska as she got past Spanish qualifier Masarova 6-2 6-3 in an hour and 45 minutes as she claimed just her fourth victory in seven matches since returning from an eight-month injury layoff at the start of this year.

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Emma Raducanu says she appreciated the support of the American crowd after her comfortable first-round victory

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Raducanu was given a wonderful ovation after making an impressive start to her Indian Wells campaign

She told Sky Sports Tennis: "Super important I think for me to get through that. I really think it's one of the trickiest tournaments conditions-wise to play because it varies so much. I think I dealt with that really well and overcame a really tough opponent who is dangerous in these conditions.

"I really enjoy playing in America, some of my best results have been here, so I am very happy to be back here playing. I really appreciate all the love I was receiving."

Raducanu claimed the opening three games with a double break, then was broken herself in the fourth before hitting back to secure the first set.

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Raducanu showed her domination with a terrific backhand and then a well-timed smash!"

The second set followed the same pattern across the first four games, with the 2021 US Open champion going a double break up and Masarova replying by breaking back.

Raducanu subsequently wrapped things up with another break of Masarova's serve, after her opponent had saved three match points, for her fourth win in eight matches in 2024.

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She caught Masarova out with this powerful backhand

Laura Robson: An up and down performance

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Sky Sports' Laura Robson and Tim Henman analyse Emma Raducanu's first-round win

"It was a bit up and down. She was helped by Masarova's inconsistency. I wouldn't say it was her best tennis but we can see what she's working on. She's trying to add more pace on the serve and angles. She's moving to around 215 in the world so in contention for Grand Slam qualifiers.

"She will want to take advantage of the wild cards."

Tim Henman on Raducanu's foundations

"That work has got to be done on the practice court and in the gym but you want the reward on the court. You think 6-2 6-3 is pretty easy but it wasn't and Raducanu will take a lot away just from one victory."

Tale of the Tape

Emma Raducanu - Match Stats

Who's next for Raducanu?

MELBOURNE, VIC - JANUARY 25: Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine celebrates during the semifinals of the 2024 Australian Open on January 25 2024, at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jason Heidrich/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)
Image: Dayana Yastremska will take on Raducanu on Saturday

Raducanu, who reached the fourth round of Indian Wells last year, will now face 30th-seeded Ukrainian Yastremska on Saturday.

The Briton won their only previous meeting in 2022 when Yastremska was forced to retire while trailing in the second set due to a wrist injury.

"There's going to be some heavy hitting," said Robson. "It's going to be a match where you're not going to get much rhythm from Yastremska because it's going to be a winner or an error.

"I think in some ways you know what you're going to get but if you're overthink a few of your shots then you're going to get exposed. It's going to be a fun one."

Evans suffers first-round exit

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Dan Evans lost his temper and smashed his racket during his defeat to Roman Safiullin

Dan Evans required painkillers for a shoulder problem and despite taking Roman Safiullin to three sets he went down to a 6-1 5-7 6-2 defeat.

The British No 2 struggled to find his footing in the opening set, giving up breaks in the second and fourth games before Safiullin wrapped up the set in just 27 minutes.

The second set threatened to unravel in similar fashion early when the Russian broke Evans in the third game, but the world No 45 was able to break straight back.

Both men matched each other game-for-game from there until the Briton snagged the crucial break in the 12th game to level the match at 1-1.

History repeated itself in the third set though, as Safiullin rode an early break to ultimately wrap up the three-set win in just under two hours.

Safiullin will face American 29th seed Sebastian Korda in the second round.

Lorenzo Sonego was dominant on serve to defeat Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6 (7-1) 6-4.

The Italian, who will next meet 28th seed Cameron Norrie, won 37 of his 39 first-serve points to earn his place in the second round.

Murray back in action on Friday

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Andy Murray looks ahead to his next match against Andrey Rublev

Andy Murray, who produced an accomplished display to beat David Goffin in straight sets last time out now takes on fifth seed Andrey Rublev on Friday in a real test from 9pm UK time, live on Sky Sports Tennis.

World No 1 Iga Swiatek and defending champions Carlos Alcaraz and Elena Rybakina also take to the court in 'Tennis Paradise' on Friday, as does Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner.

Friday's order of play at Indian Wells

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