Aryna Sabalenka Ends Emma Raducanu’s Indian Wells Campaign in Straight Sets

Emma Raducanu’s run at Indian Wells came to an end as she was defeated in straight sets by Belarusian world number two Aryna Sabalenka in the third round of the tournament.

Raducanu, who had reached the fourth round in California last year, succumbed to a 6-3, 7-5 loss against the two-time major winner Sabalenka, marking her exit from the tournament as she continues her comeback journey.

Despite her loss, the 21-year-old British player, currently ranked 250 in the world, reflected positively on her performance throughout the week. Raducanu acknowledged the progress she has made, particularly in her demeanor on the match court, emphasizing her increased positivity and hunger to play.

Raducanu’s path in the tournament included a second-round victory over Dayana Yastremska, who retired with illness, marking her first consecutive victories since her impressive showing at Indian Wells last year. Her return to the tour in January following a lengthy absence due to wrist and ankle surgeries has been characterized by a focus on development rather than immediate results.

Facing off against Sabalenka, the defending Australian Open champion, Raducanu showcased resilience and progress in her game. Despite losing the first set, Raducanu pushed Sabalenka, saving set points and creating break opportunities. In the second set, Raducanu continued to challenge Sabalenka, but the Belarusian’s experience ultimately secured her victory, breaking Raducanu’s serve at crucial moments to close out the match.

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