Home Sport Emma Raducanu avoids rankings scare with statement Indian Wells win over Rebeka...

Emma Raducanu avoids rankings scare with statement Indian Wells win over Rebeka Masarova

Emma Raducanu got off to a convincing start in Indian Wells as she breezed past Rebeka Masarova 6-2 6-3. The British No. 7 enjoyed success in the Californian desert last year, meaning she had extra pressure to win her opening match or risk falling out of the top 300. She will now face 30th seed Dayana Yastremska.

12 months after her best run of the 2023 season, Raducanu was back in Indian Wells as a wildcard to continue her comeback from surgery. The Brit reached the fourth round last year, beating two top-20 seeds en route. It means she is defending 120 ranking points this fortnight and could see her standing take a tumble with an early loss.

The world No. 250 opened her campaign against Masarova, who came through qualifying. Even though the Spaniard had a couple of matches under her belt in the Californian desert, it was Raducanu who looked like she was full of form as she raced into a 3-0 double-break lead.

Masarova pegged Raducanu back by winning two games in a row but it wasn’t long before the 21-year-old regained her advantage, giving herself the chance to serve for the set at 5-2. She was forced to save four break points before getting the job done.

The Spanish world No. 96 left the court for a brief bathroom break after losing the first set as Raducanu took the opportunity to practice her serving after hitting five double faults and only landing 50 per cent of her first serves. And she picked up where she left off, breaking Masarova to start the second set.

Raducanu was forced to dig herself out of another 0-40 hole, winning five points in a row to extend her lead. Masarova continued to struggle on her serve, meanwhile, as the British No. 7 broke her opponent for the fifth time.

But just like the first set, Masarova managed to get one of the breaks back as she tried to keep herself alive and stop Raducanu from racing to the finish line. The qualifier started to settle into the match, keeping the Brit at bay as she saved three more break points.


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