The WTA 500 event in Stuttgart is one of the most prestigious in the calendar and the draw was full of high-ranked players and Grand Slam champions. Two of them clashed already in the first round as the 2021 US Open winner took on the 2017 Roland Garros champion, Jelena Ostapenko.
As their major triumphs suggest, the Latvian is a better clay-court player and she wanted to use that advantage against Raducanu who lost in her last two matches against Iga Swiatek and Bianca Andreescu, but also lost to Ostapenko in their previous meeting when she retired at last year's Korea Open in Seoul.
Back then, the match went into the third set after more than 90 minutes, but players didn't need to spend so much time on the court on Tuesday evening in Stuttgart.
Ostapenko started well against the Brit when she got two breaks in the first set, using both of her break points and being ruthless in the crucial moments. On the other hand, Raducanu couldn't find a response and lost the first set 2-6 after only 30 minutes.
The second set wasn't the same in result, but it was the same in length. Raducanu started well, winning the first 6 points of the set and leading 1-0, 30-0 with a chance to get her first break point of the match.
But for a moment, that would be the last point that she added to her name. Ostapenko won the following 17 rallies and built a lead that her opponent could never come back from.
Raducanu had her only break point of the match in the sixth game of the second set, but Ostapenko denied her the break and after only 60 minutes, she won the match 6-2, 6-1 after converting fifth of the five break points that she had.
After the match, the Latvian admitted that she had a clear game plan against the fellow Grand Slam champion and according to the result, it went really well for her.
"I knew against her the main thing was to step in the court. Of course, I missed some balls but I tried to be aggressive all the time when it was possible. Just try to take the ball early, don't give her many chances. And finally, I'm back on clay, my favorite surface."
"It can sound a bit strange but I felt like I was stepping back a little bit too much in the years when I wasn't playing well. When I'm stepping into the court and I play fearless like at the French Open and try to hit winners - of course, not crazy, but play a bit smarter - that's what's working well."