Tuesday, November 30

Emma Raducanu out of the Transylvania Open after defeating Marta Kostyuk | Emma raducanu


When Marta Kostyuk and Emma Raducanu were growing through the youth rankings in the same age brackets at the same time, it was Kostyuk who turned heads with every backhand he hit.

She dominated the age group categories, won everything as a junior, and then quickly broke through as a 15-year-old pro. Year after year she stayed one step ahead of her contemporaries until just a month ago when two players beat her at the same time to reach the US Open final. One of those finalists, Emma Raducanu, stood in front of her on Friday night when the pair faced off again. Although the occasion felt more tense than a simple WTA 250, it was Kostyuk who stood up and took the victory to reach the semifinal at the Transylvania Open.

The Ukrainian ended Raducanu’s solid streak in Cluj-Napoca with a strong victory, defeating the US Open champion 6-2, 6-1 to reach the semi-final in 59 minutes. The match was a struggle for Raducanu from the start, as he blew three game points in his first service game before double failing to give the break.

As Raducanu looked to take control of the baseline but instead sprayed forehand errors all over the court, Kostyuk landed numerous returns, his excellent defense forced more errors from Raducanu and the whole time he walked onto the court and hit the winners. backhand on the line. Will.

The second set moved away from Raducanu at an even faster pace. At the beginning of the set, Raducanu had lost full control of his serve and double-faulted twice, losing his serve out of love. Kostyuk continued to get stronger, not offering free points as Raducanu bumped off the court. After double-failing at break point for the third time to deliver a double break, Raducanu struggled through a long final service game before launching a wide backhand at match point.

After a solid week in Cluj-Napoca with two good wins, Raducanu ends with a major loss that further highlights the gulf of experience between her and even the players in her age group. While Kostyuk was also born in 2002, he has played 42 tour-level events, including qualifying. Raducanu’s count, including ranking, is eight.

For the second tournament in a row like in Indian Wells earlier this month, Raducanu also came close to taking on his idol, Simona Halep, before losing. Now you will have the opportunity to travel to Bucharest and see your grandmother before heading to Linz for your last tournament of the season.

Meanwhile, Halep has continued to take positive steps at the end of a difficult season as he advanced to the semi-finals of the Transylvania Open in Cluj-Napoca, his hometown tournament, after coldly defeating compatriot Jaqueline Cristian 6-1. 6-1 in 67 minutes.

“I tried to do my best today,” Halep said during his on-court interview. “It has motivated me and I am very grateful to be on the court. I treated my back last night and this morning. I did physical therapy and I felt much better. So very happy to be able to win and go to the semifinals here in Cluj.


www.theguardian.com

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