Emma Raducanu has been told she should be ‘proud’ of her serve despite her disappointing Linz Open defeat against Wang Xinyu on Tuesday. The British star, who has had an incredible year, rounded off her season by losing in the round of 16 against Xinyu.
Former British No 1 Annabel Croft was impressed that Raducanu managed eight aces in the three-set thriller.
The 18-year-old US Open Champion suffered a devastating injury during the match and appeared affected as she battled through the final set.
Xinyu won the first set 6-1 before Raducanu fought back. The Bromley-based teen stormed through a tiebreaker, which she won 7-0.
But her 106-ranked opponent progressed to the quarter-final after a tough third set. Xinyu won 7-5 and will play Alison Riske on Wednesday.
However, Croft felt that there were still positives to take from the match for Raducanu. The 55-year-old praised the youngster’s serve.
Croft told Amazon Prime: “It really was [epic]. What a high-quality and high-intensity tennis match.
“I have nothing but admiration for both of them to be honest. Raducanu, a lot of unforced errors off the forehand side in the opening set but really battled and scrapped and dug deep to try and get the match back on level terms. She was doing so well.
“It felt a little bit that she was going to come through the third set. She was certainly building her levels and making it so competitive and the crowd were getting behind her. What a shame she had that tweak of the injury.”
She added: “Eight aces for Emma Raducanu. Isn’t that a fantastic stat? As you picked up on Sam (Smith, presenter), a very high first serve percentage.
“That’s something to be very proud of. But the winner count from Wang, 32 to 21, and a higher unforced error count.
“A lot of those coming off the forehand side in the opening set but Raducanu did get that back on track and did start to make a lot of headway. The break points won, she created 16 of them, that’s a lot.
“She converted on seven so a lot to admire from both of them to be honest.”
Her defeat brings to an end Raducanu’s incredible season.
She started 2021 ranked 338 and ends it as the World No 20, having reached the fourth round at Wimbledon before incredibly going all the way at Flushing Meadows.
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