Emma Raducanu

Indian Wells Masters 2021: Aliaksandra Sasnovich ends Emma Raducanu’s 10-match winning streak, defeating the reigning US Open champion 6-2, 6-4 in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open.

Emma Raducanu lost 6-2, 6-4 in the second round. The tricky conditions in the California desert have frustrated even the veterans, and Raducanu has cautioned everyone to mind the experience gap as she advances towards her growth career.

“Playing at night is always going to be different,” Raducanu said after the match. “I haven’t had much experience with night matches. I’ve only played one before on Ashe. 

“I’m still very, very new to the tour. I think that experience just comes from playing week in, week out and experiencing all these different things. I’m kind of glad that what happened today happened so I can learn and take it as a lesson so going forward I’ll just have more experienced banked.”

Emma dropped the first set in just around half an hour 6-2 but bounced herself back leading the second set 4-2. However, Sasnovich having a set over her opponent fought hard to take the four straight games and seal the match.

“I’m still so new to everything. The experiences that I’m going through right now, even though I might not feel 100% amazing right now, I know they’re for the greater good.”

Indian Wells Masters 2021: Emma Raducanu after an upset in the second round.
Emma Raducanu after an upset in the second round.

Emma Raducanu on the second set fight back.

“She’s been on tour, probably been 4-2 down like hundreds of times, whereas I’ve been 4-2 up … it’s my third WTA tournament this year.

“It will come in time. Just got to not rush it and keep going and get my head back to the drawing board really.”

Raducanu dismissed the suggestion the loss had anything to do with increased pressure or expectation after being minted the tour’s newest major champion. While Sasnovich is currently ranked No.100, she has been ranked as high as No.30 in 2018 and her win over Raducanu was her 16th career victory over a Top 20 opponent. 

“I didn’t go in there putting any pressure on myself because in my mind I’m so inexperienced that all these, I’m just taking it all in,” Raducanu said. “You’re going to have highs and you’re always going to have some lows where you’re disappointed with how you performed.

“Aliaksandra played an extremely great match. You could tell she’s more experienced than me. She went out there and executed her game plan better than I did. She deserved to win that.”

“I think it’s going to take me time to adjust really to what’s going on,” she said. “I’m still so new to everything. The experiences that I’m going through right now, even though I might not feel 100% amazing right now, I know they’re for the greater good. For the bigger picture, I’ll be thanking this moment.

“That’s the lesson I think, that you can easily get sucked into being so focused on the result and getting disappointed.

“I mean, I’m 18 years old. I need to cut myself some slack.”

Watch Indian Wells Masters 2021, Emma Raducanu vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich highlights.

Maria Sakarri joins Emma in the upset list.

Indian Wells Masters 2021: Viktorija Golubic’s cosmic 2021 season continues at Indian Wells, where the Swiss put on an all-court clinic to upset World No.9 Maria Sakkari, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the third round.

Indian Wells Masters 2021: Maria Sakkari and  Viktorija Golubic.
Maria Sakkari and Viktorija Golubic.

Ranked No. 138 before the season started Viktorija Golubic has risen up the rankings with a mindblowing 2021 journey which included two finals appearances and also a major breakthrough at Wimbledon, where she advanced to her first quarterfinal at a slam.

“I always loved to really play the game, to have so many options,” Golubic told WTA Insider after the match. “This is something I always enjoyed. But I think at this level you have to be physically very, very strong and also you have to have power. It’s not enough to just mix up the game. I think this is something that as a junior I didn’t have yet. I had a good game, I had a good eye for the court and for the game but there were people overpowering me, so power wins.

“In the last years, I could develop more power, more strength, being faster as well. This is something you need to compete and this is where the variation comes in. But if you don’t have that part, it’s not enough.” 

Golubic showed off both her variety, uncanny court sense, and power against Sakkari. She unwound the No.6 seed with physical defense and intelligent offense, firing 25 winners while extracting 46 unforced errors from the Greek over the course of the match. After being broken three times in the opening set, Golubic would win all but one of her service games for the rest of the match.

“I think with the conditions here it’s pretty slow so you can get easy points with the service if you hit the spots, but I feel like it’s a little tougher,” Sakkari said. “So I think I made her play after she serves a lot, I had solid returns, but also in the rallies when she was attacking I made her play another shot and another shot. I think that maybe raised the pressure and made her miss some more shots.” 

Having forced a decider, Golubic turned the table to a 4-0 lead and secured the win after 2 hours and 33 minutes. She finished with 25 winners to 26 unforced errors, while Sakkari hitting 39 winners made 46 unforced errors.

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