The latest tennis sensation and US Open champion from Great Britain, Emma Raducanu’s string of poor performances continued with the 18-year-old losing to qualifier Wang Xinyu of China 6-1, 6-7(0), 7-5 in the second round of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz here.
Xinyu earned her first top-20 win, stunning the No.1 seed Raducanu in a late Tuesday evening game, while second seed Simona Halep of Romania reversed a recent loss to Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus to reach the quarterfinals.
World No.106 Wang needed 2 hours and 36 minutes to knock off this year’s most recent Grand Slam champion, and the 20-year-old from Shenzhen, China edged closer to potentially making her top-100 debut on the WTA.
“I really felt the passion here,” Wang said after her triumph. “It’s also my first time here; I really enjoy playing this tournament,” she told wtatennis.com.
Coming into Linz, Wang had played top-20 opposition for the first four times in her career this season, and she was unable to win a set in any of those clashes. But with Raducanu having just hit her new career-high ranking of world No.20 in this week’s singles rankings, Wang was able to capture her first top-20 victory in Linz.
Last month, Raducanu was brought crashing down to earth in her first tournament since her US Open triumph, losing in straight sets to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. It had ended her 10-match winning streak that began in New York.
Wang played an aggressive first set, moving forward whenever she could to take command of points. Wang finished the first set with 13 winners to just three unforced errors, and she never faced a break point as she reeled off six games in a row.
Raducanu exhibited some of her US Open form in the second set and won the tie-break to come on level terms. However, there were no break points in the decisive final set until Wang powered through a love break for 5-4. Serving for the match, Wang squandered two match points as Raducanu pulled back level at 5-5, but the Chinese player quickly gritted out another break for 6-5.
“I always try to believe in myself and always try to focus on this point, right now, and just enjoying the match,” Wang said after the match.
Next up for Wang will be a quarterfinal matchup with No.8 seed Alison Riske of the United States. Riske defeated France’s Alize Cornet, 6-4, 6-4.
No.2 seed Halep got her Upper Austria Ladies Linz campaign off to a satisfying start, taking revenge on Aliaksandra Sasnovich in a top-notch 7-5, 6-3 second-round win.
Sasnovich had defeated Halep 7-5, 6-4 in the third round of Indian Wells one month ago, and throughout their rematch tested the former world No.1.