Raducanu Shockingly Loses In Madrid Opener After Great Start To Clay Season

Raducanu Shockingly Loses In Madrid Opener After Great Start To Clay Season

by Zachary Wimer

Emma Raducanu had a great start to her clay season, winning four matches in a row, but she's now up to two losses in a row after a surprising early loss at the 2024 Madrid Open.

Raducanu has shown a decent level at the WTA 1000 event in Madrid in the past, so it was expected she could get a solid showing in the Spanish capital. She last played in Stuttgart and did really well, making the quarter-final and winning four matches on the surface for the first time ever, including to victories at the Billie Jean King Cup.

Fatigue was a topic during her Stuttgart stay. She hinted at it during a pre-match interview, and it certainly proved a factor. This wasn't a very good match for Raducanu, who took on a solid player who is very well adapted to clay tennis.

Maria Lourdes Carle thoroughly outplayed the Brit in this match, winning 6-2, 6-2, but it wasn't as easy as the score might suggest. Carle plays a very physical style of play, extending rallies and griding down her opponent, which is a terrible style for the 2021 US Open champion to play against.

She quickly ran into problems, falling behind 0-3 in the opening set. She would pull one break back but didn't demonstrate much patience as Carle was able to break her again and finish the opening set 6-2.

The second set didn't bring anything different, as Raducanu really struggled with the long rallies. Carle really pushed the match towards her style of play, and it worked wonderfully, as Raducanu really isn't interested in playing long rallies.

She prefers to play aggressive tennis, but in this match, that didn't work out too well. The final score, as mentioned above, was 6-2 6-2, but it could have been quite different. Raducanu was 2/7 on break points, and playing a bit more sharply could have possibly changed the outcome of the match.


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