Australian Open 2022 blow for Emma Raducanu as tennis star battles injury in defeat

Raducanu loses out to Danka Kovinic as she struggles through painful blisters

The 2021 US Open Champion Emma Raducanu lost to the world number 98, Danka Kovinic, in her second round match at the Australian Open.

This is the first time that the 19-year-old has lost a completed match at a Grand Slam.

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Her Wimbledon journey ended after she was made to terminate the match after suffering with breathing difficulties.

Raducanu then went on to win every match without dropping a single set at the US Open and has now lost her first Grand Slam match.

The young Briton was appearing to suffer from blisters on her hand as she battled against the Montenegrin player.

Eurosport announced that Raducanu’s first-round win over American, Sloane Stephens on Tuesday 18 January 2022 had been the channel’s biggest audience in the UK for five years.

Raducanu won the second set but could not fight back enough in final set

Emma Raducanu has faced a difficult few months with her game and recently switched coaches to Angelique Kerber’s former coach, Torben Beltz.

Suffering from Covid-19 over Christmas, Raducanu struggled for match fitness and was knocked out in the first round of the Sydney Tennis classic a week before the Australian Open started.

With plenty of time before the next major tournament, Raducanu will come back fighting and aim to recreate her US Open magic at Roland-Garros.

What happened in Raducanu v Kovinic?

Raducanu appeared to breeze through her first three games against her opponent and looked calm while competitively fighting her battle.

Kovinic soon came alive, regaining games that she lost, but it then became evident that Raducanu was suffering.

The trainer was called after just five games and there was a lengthy medical time-out for treatment on the 19-year-old’s right hand.

Kovinic did not relent and took full advantage of her opponent’s struggles. It was not long before the match was 5-3 and in spite of Raducanu fighting back to break her opponent’s serve, Kovinic took the first set.

Raducanu was able to unsettle Kovinic in the second set, who ultimately dropped her serve and the US Open Champion’s competitive spirit came bursting out.

Kovinic became the first Montenegrin player to reach the third round of a slam

Despite the pain Raducanu was clearly in, she managed to battle through and power through to steal the second set.

In a series of tight games, it was ultimately Kovinic that came out on top, and despite some strong fight backs from the Canadian-born Briton, Kovinic became the first Montenegrin tennis player to reach a third round of a Slam.

Are any Britons left in the competition?

Raducanu now joins fellow Brits Andy Murray, Cameron Norrie and Heather Watson who have all struggled in Australia.

Daniel Evans is the final Briton left in the tournament and he will play Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime on Saturday 22 January 2021.

Evans was due to play Arthur Rinerknech in the second round but the Frenchman had to withdraw after sustaining a wrist injury.

Go to our article on How to watch the Australian Open to find out more on how to follow all the latest matches in Melbourne.

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