Emma Raducanu delivers well timed reminder of how a lot enjoyable she might be to look at | EUROtoday

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“In the beginning I was just adjusting to the speed of the court,” Raducanu advised on-court interviewer Monica Puig. “It was pretty quick and a lot more still than it had been for the week, because it had been very windy, so it was a different tempo.

“Marie is a really tough opponent,” she added. “I knew going in that I was going to have to play so many balls, and I think in the beginning I was missing a few of the finishing shots but I cleaned that up, so I’m very happy about that.”

The stats present how a lot Raducanu improved over the course of the match – and the way powerless Bouzkova turned. Raducanu’s tallies of unpolluted winners had been roughly equal (12 and 11) over the 2 units, however her unforced-error rely dropped from 13 to simply three as she started to loosen up into the move of her personal sport.

With Bouzkova more and more struggling to win factors, not to mention video games, this match was by no means going to increase to a few units – and an excellent factor too. Tending to fade in lengthy contests, Raducanu wins solely 40 per cent of deciders. (At the 2021 US Open, you could keep in mind, she by no means needed to play one.)

Unusual in its freedom, this was Raducanu’s first win over top-100 opposition since she overcame Beatriz Haddad Maia in Indian Wells final March. But it wasn’t the outcome that made an impression a lot because the swagger. Raducanu performed as if she believed fully in her means, which has not all the time been the case over the previous couple of seasons. The choice to reunite with Cavaday, who cheered her on from the sidelines, is wanting well-judged.

The subsequent spherical – which Raducanu will in all probability play on Wednesday – is an intriguing one. Her opponent is the second seed Ons Jabeur, whose Arab ancestry makes her the closest factor the Middle-East has to a homegrown tennis star, though she really hails from Tunisia.

Jabeur acquired a first-round bye and thus has solely scored one victory this season, which got here towards world No 150 Yuliia Starodubtseva on the Australian Open. In her second spherical in Melbourne, Jabeur was completely bamboozled by 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva, and tallied solely two video games. In reality, she has been struggling for kind ever since she laid an egg – to make use of John McEnroe’s vivid time period for a disastrous underperformance – in final summer season’s Wimbledon last.

“I really like Ons,” mentioned Raducanu after the Bouzkova win. “She’s someone who has kind of taken me under her wing as I’ve been new to the tour. I’m really looking forward to it because a lot of people were saying to me ‘Ons, Ons, Ons,’ and I was like, ‘I’m playing Marie, who’s ranked like 30 in the world. So that’s not an easy match.’ But yeah, I’m really pleased to have put myself in this situation. And yeah, I’m going out with nothing to lose against her.”

Raducanu vs Bouzkova: As it occurred . . .