As the first reigning champion in New York since Germany’s Angelique Kerber in 2017 to fall in the first round of their title defense, Emma Raducanu, who had a dream run to the US Open crown last year, suffered a terrible setback to France’s Alize Cornet.
In ten matches last year, Raducanu did not lose a set, but on a windy evening in New York, she made too many mistakes and lost 6-3, 6-3. The 19-year-ranking old’s will now drop to somewhere around 80, but after a year that has not been easy, she could be relieved that this phase is done and that she can now work to lay more reliable tennis career foundations.
Emma Raducanu Loses Against France’s Alize Cornet
Despite being unhappy, Emma Raducanu, who went 10-0-0 in matches last year, embraced the opportunity for a fresh start that the defeat will provide. Raducanu received a warm welcome from the thinly filled Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd as they welcomed back the most improbable of champions. The main difference in the Kent teen’s support group right now is the presence of Russian Dmitry Tursunov, who she is trialing as she hunts for a permanent coach. Virginia Wade, who saw Raducanu’s victory last year with shock, was again courtside.
The wind had an effect on the match right on, making it particularly challenging for Raducanu to use the same free-swinging strategy that had caught her opponents off guard but had signaled in the buildup of her intention to be aggressive.
Last year, she never lost more than five games in a set. However, Cornet won three straight breaks to take the first set 5-3 and then displayed outstanding defensive skills to seal the deal.