Emma Raducanu crashes out of Australian Open in defeat to Yafan Wang as Katie Boulter also beaten | Tennis News

Emma Raducanu crashes out of Australian Open in defeat to Yafan Wang as Katie Boulter also beaten | Tennis News

Emma Raducanu is out of the Australian Open after China’s Yafan Wang beat her in three sets as the Briton struggled with sickness at the end of the match.

Raducanu, who made her return to tennis two weeks ago after missing most of the 2023 season to have three surgeries, matched her last second-round runs in Melbourne from the previous two years.

She fought back from a set and a break down to force a deciding set but struggled physically and Wang took advantage to win 6-4 4-6 6-4 and book a place against compatriot Qinwen Zheng, who had earlier beaten Katie Boulter in straight sets. There is now no more British representation in the women’s singles.

Raducanu came into the tournament stating she was a “better player” than before her surgeries and looked good in her straight-sets win over Shelby Rogers in the first round.

However, she will be concerned about her fitness and the lack of power from her forehand which was a big strength when she won the 2021 US Open title.

The 21-year-old is likely to next be in action in February in Doha or Dubai – live on Sky Sports.

Emma Raducanu is likely to be back in February – with every WTA and ATP tournament that month live on Sky Sports

Raducanu loses an epic

Wang broke Raducanu with her first chance in the third game as she visibly settled more quickly and adapted to the blustery conditions in Melbourne.

Surprisingly, Wang was dictating most of the points and broke for a second time to go 5-2 up when Raducanu whistled a backhand wide.

Although Raducanu managed to win the next two games by getting one break back, Wang held serve to win a largely dominant first set.

It continued in the second when Wang broke her opponent straight away as Raducanu struggled on serve. Wang nearly made it a double break, and 3-0, when she had two break points in the third game but Raducanu brilliantly came back from 15-40 down to win the next four points and trail 2-1.

Yafan Wang
Yafan Wang reached the third round of the Australian Open for the first time

That game changed the course of the match after an epic 11-minute fourth game where Raducanu initially failed to take four break point chances but clinched it with the fifth then broke for a second time to go 5-3 ahead.

Raducanu was hitting the ball more aggressively but threw away two set points when 40-15 up which Wang punished to break back.

However, there was another turning point as Wang offered up a third set point on serve but Raducanu failed to take it before getting there with the fourth as a Wang forehand went wide, which sent the match to a decider.

It didn’t faze Wang though because she broke immediately in the third as Raducanu called for a trainer due to feeling sick when 2-0 down.

Emma Raducanu matches her previous runs at the Australian Open of losing in the second round
Emma Raducanu matches her previous runs at the Australian Open of losing in the second round

She looked very unwell but opted to carry on and was given four break point chances in the fourth which she couldn’t take. The next two games went to hold and were much quicker as fatigue kicked in for both players, with Wang leading 5-3.

Raducanu made one last surge as she held serve but couldn’t find the break she needed as Wang won a second-round thriller.

Boulter beaten by Zheng

Katie Boulter of Britain reacts during her second round match against Zheng Qinwen of China at the Australian Open tennis championships at Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. (AP Photo/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)
Katie Boulter was unable to book a place in the last 32 after a straight sets defeat to Qinwen Zheng

British No 1 Boulter was knocked out of the Australian Open by Chinese 12th seed Zheng 6-3 6-3.

A battling effort from Boulter was eventually undone after an epic final service game from Zheng which went to a sixth deuce before she took advantage of her sixth match point with an ace.

Boulter, herself, had six break point opportunities in the same game, having earlier raced out into a 0-40 lead, but she couldn’t claim any of them as her tournament came to a close.

After Zheng controlled the first set, Boulter broke serve for a 3-2 lead in the second but the British No 1 double-faulted twice in blustery conditions in the next to immediately give up the advantage.

Boulter was then broken for a second-straight game, her first serve continuing to desert her, and yet another double all but sealed her fate before she briefly threatened a comeback as Zheng served for the match.

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