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Emma Raducanu refused to criticise Dayana Yastremska after the world No 89 called the physio mid-game with the Brit two points from winning their match in Portoroz. Yastremska then retired with Raducanu leading 6-3 5-3 30-0, allowing the 19-year-old to progress to the second round of the Slovenia Open.
Raducanu looked to be cruising to a straight-set victory over Yastremska and took a 30-0 lead on the 22-year-old’s serve at 5-3 in the second set, coming within two points of the victory. But she earned the point when Yastremska was forced to throw her racket in pain, with her wrist already heavily taped.
Having appeared to worsen her injury, the Ukrainian asked for the physio to come to the court after feeling that she had tweaked something in addition to her pre-existing issue and stopped the game to receive medical attention. After an assessment, she retired the match with the British No 1 two points from a standard 6-3 6-3 win.
The 19-year-old refused to criticise her opponent for making the call to end the match early despite needing to play potentially just two more points, as she admitted it was never nice to see a fellow player suffer. “Obviously no one wants to win by retirement,” the world No 83 said after receiving a spot in round two.
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“But Dayana is an extremely ferocious competitor so I knew it was going to be a tough match going in.” It was Raducanu’s first match since her disappointing first-round exit at the US Open, where she was the defending champion.
The Brit dropped 72 places to world No 83 when the rankings updated on Monday but was happy with her performance as she appeared to bounce back well after the crushing loss in New York. “I’m really happy with the way I stayed in the point and was fighting the whole way through,” she continued.
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Raducanu took a wildcard into this week’s Slovenia Open after her early exit in New York and was already enjoying her time at the tournament, arriving early to get plenty of practice in. She added: “I came here really, really early and it’s been really nice here.
“I think it’s a beautiful place to have a tournament. Amazing views, great food so I’m loving my time here.” She will now play either Elizabeth Mandlik – daughter of four-time Grand Slam champion Hana Mandlikova – or qualifier Anna-Lena Friedsam in the next round.
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