Emma Raducanu crashed out of hardcourt tournament at Indian Wells on Friday, losing in her first match since her stunning US Open triumph to Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-4. Britain’s Raducanu looked rusty in her first tournament since September 11 — when the 18-year-old stunned the tennis world by becoming the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title. Raducanu swept past Canadian Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3 to win the crown at Flushing Meadows in New York.
Raducanu won the first game of the opening set on Friday, but it was all Sasnovich after that in the first career meeting between the two.
The unseeded Sasnovich, playing her second match while Raducanu enjoyed a first-round bye, won three straight points to reach 40-0 in the final game then clinched the match when Raducanu hit a backhand long.
The Belarusian blasted one ace and won 67% of her first-serve points, taking advantage of Raducanu’s soft second serve and inability to hit winners on easy shots.
“I really enjoy playing here," said Sasnovich. “Emma just won the US Open and I lost there in the first round. So it was a little bit different."
Sasnovich moves on to the third round where she will face 11th seeded Simona Halep.
Raducanu had four double faults and won just five points out of 21 on her second serve. Ranked 22nd in the world, Raducanu accepted a wild card into the Indian Wells draw, where she was seeded 17th.
Sasnovich won the first set easily, accomplishing something that no one at the US Open was able to do. Raducanu claimed the title without dropping a set, winning 10 straight matches.
Serving in the final game of the first set, Sasnovich took a 40-30 lead with an ace down the middle. Raducanu hit a backhand winner to level it 40-40 but another unforced forehand error by Raducanu made it advantage Sasnovich.
Sasnovich clinched the set with a high lob from the baseline after Raducanu bungled an easy volley that she hit directly back to her opponent.
Results from the ATP and WTA Indian Wells tournament on Friday (x denotes seed):
Alejandro Tabilo (CHI) bt Denis Kudla (USA) 6-1, 7-6 (7/0)
Brandon Nakashima (USA) bt Federico Coria (ARG) 6-3, 6-2
Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) bt Federico Del Bonis (ARG) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2)
Kevin Anderson (RSA) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 7-5, 6-2
Jenson Brooksby (USA) bt Cem Ilkel (TUR) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Albert Ramos (ESP) bt Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) 6-1, 6-3
Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) bt Dominik Koepfer (GER) 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-0
Emilio Gómez (ECU) bt Facundo Bagnis (ARG) 6-3, 6-1
Ernesto Escobedo (USA) bt Holger Rune (DEN) 6-4, 6-1
Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) bt Daniel Galán (COL) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3
Pedro Martínez (ESP) bt Roberto Marcora (ITA) 6-4, 6-0
Petra Kvitova (CZE x7) bt Arantxa Rus (NED) 6-2, 6-2
Victoria Azarenka (BLR x27) bt Magda Linette (POL) 7-5, 3-0 retired
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) bt Emma Raducanu (GBR x17) 6-2, 6-4
Simona Halep (ROM x11) bt Marta Kostyuk (UKR) 7-6 (7/2), 6-1
Jasmine Paolini (ITA) bt Elise Mertens (BEL x14) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
Sorana Cirstea (ROM x32) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-2, 6-3
Elina Svitolina (UKR x4) bt Tereza Martincova (CZE) 6-2, 7-5
Shelby Rogers (USA) bt Kristína Kucová (SVK) 6-2, 6-2
Irina Begu (ROM) bt Jil Teichmann (SUI x31) 7-5, 6-1
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x9) bt Madison Keys (USA) 6-3, 6-1
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT x24) bt Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) 6-3, 6-0
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS x25) bt Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) 6-2, 6-3
Iga Swiatek (POL x2) bt Petra Martic (CRO) 6-1, 6-3