US Open champ Raducanu loses in 2 sets at Indian Wells

National Sports
Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek, of Poland, returns a shot to Petra Martic, of Croatia, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Emma Raducanu came down to earth in her first tournament since her surprising U.S. Open victory, losing in straight sets to Aliaksandra Sasnovich at the BNP Paribas Open on Friday night.

Raducanu lost 6-2, 6-4 in the second round, ending her 10-match winning streak that began in New York. She received a wild-card into the combined ATP and WTA tournament in the Southern California desert.

Sasnovich, a 27-year-old from Belarus ranked 100th in the world, reached the doubles semifinals last month at the U.S. Open while Raducanu was completing a stunning run from qualifier to champion at age 18.

Sasnovich got service breaks to take leads of 3-1 and 5-2 and close out the set in 30 minutes without ever losing her serve.

Raducanu rallied in the second set, taking a 4-2 lead. But Sasnovich broke for a fifth time and led 5-4 before serving out the match. Sasnovich won 53% of her second serves to just 29% for Raducanu.

Former men’s No. 1 Andy Murray and U.S. Open runner-up Leyla Fernandez played night matches.

Iga Swiatek needed just 71 minutes to dispatch Petra Martic 6-1, 6-3.

The last time the tournament was played in 2019, Swiatek lost in qualifying. Now, she’s the No. 2 seed and the 2020 French Open champion.

Swiatek won nine of the first 10 games against Martic before the Polish star got broken twice and fell behind 0-3 in the second set. Swiatek rallied to win the next six games and close out the match.

“In 2019, I wasn’t playing that confident, but I’m really happy that times have changed now,” Swiatek said. “In the second set, I lost focus for one game and she broke me pretty fast, so I knew I just had to keep going and not stop for a second time.”

No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina beat Tereza Martineova 6-2, 7-5. Ninth-seeded Anatasia Pavlyuchenkova topped Madison Keys 6-3, 6-1.

No. 11 seed Simona Halep beat Marta Kostyuk 7-6 (2), 6-1.

Victoria Azarenka advanced via walkover when Magda Linette quit trailing 7-5, 3-0. Shelby Rogers routed Kristina Kucova 6-2, 6-2.

On the men’s side, Americans Jenson Brooksby and Ernesto Escobedo won their first-round matches. Brooksby beat Cem Ilkel 7-6 (5), 6-4, and Escobedo defeated Holger Rune 6-4, 6-1.

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