The British sensation Emma Raducanu got a wild card into this year’s draw Indian Wells Masters on the back of that win in New York. In the Round of 64 she faces Belarussian Sasnovich. The high level expectation on Emma has a potential to overwhelm her in the next few months, let’s hope it doesn’t. She really struggled on her second serve in this one. Confident enough start though. Watch the opening game at 30-0. Here Emma creates an angle for the serve by standing to the far right side of the court than normal. She clearly scouted Sasnovich’s weakness being the backhand return. Sasnovich has an interesting service motion. Watch 1-0 first set 40-40. The racquet slices through the ball so what happens is the sacrifices the speed for accuracy. You can see Emma struggling with the awkward bounce. Turning point of the set 1-1. Raducanu struggled with Sasnovich’s lobs in this one, somehow she didn’t chase after them, in particular the one at 0-30. Sasnovich went a double break up to seal the set 6-2. Before that watch her staying power at 4-2(0-15) my point of the match. What turned the rally around for the Belarussian was the Djokovic like defensive forehand slice which caught Emma off guard.
If Emma was to come back into the match what needed to change was not the way she approached the points when the rallies turn against her and not go on the defensive on second serve. Tough opening serve game in the second set for her handing her opponent the break of serve. Check out break point at deuce advantage. Emma’s asset is her forehand, a bit disappointed here mid point when she goes shot on it and from there she was always playing second fiddle. Watch what happens when she goes on the offensive early at 1-0(40-30). Pity that wasn’t done consistently in this match. With match finely poised at 4-3 Emma on Sasnovich’s serve, the Brit imploded. Check out 15-30 again the lob by Sasnovich doing the business, although it wasn’t the best of lobs at all. Emma moving to the net way too early for my liking. Disappointing loss for Raducanu, on the plus it shows that level of competition in the women’s game is at an all time high level. Indian Wells clearly coming a bit too early for the US Open champ.