Emma Raducanu suffered a shock defeat within the second spherical of the Australian Open, being crushed 6-4 4-6 6-3 by world No. 98 Danka Kovinic.
The 19-year-old Brit appeared to battle with a blister on her hand all through the match and required remedy on a number of events from the court docket physician.
With the blister affecting her dominant proper hand, Raducanu struggled to hit her forehand together with her common energy and consistency and the unseeded Kovinic took full benefit to clinch the opening set.
It was a powerful begin for the Montenegrin, who had by no means made it previous the second spherical of a grand slam in 17 singles and doubles primary draw appearances.
Nevertheless, Raducanu was capable of obtain additional remedy to her proper hand in the course of the interval and got here out within the second set trying extra just like the participant that shocked the tennis world by successful the US Open in September.
She regained management together with her highly effective baseline floor strokes and leveled the match after one other hard-fought set.
The opening sport of the deciding set felt like a pivotal second within the match, with Raducanu agonizingly lacking a cross-court forehand that may have given her a vital early break.
Nevertheless, the 27-year-old Kovinic confirmed outstanding poise to finally maintain serve with an inch-perfect smash.
Blistered and bandaged – and infrequently nonetheless with a smile on her face – Raducanu continued to battle by the decider together with her forehand barely accessible to her, however ultimately that dedication wasn’t sufficient to get the higher of Kovinic, who turns into the primary participant representing Montenegro to succeed in the third spherical of a grand slam.
“I actually loved it on the market,” Kovinic mentioned in her on court docket interview. “It was a pleasant expertise to play Emma and make it to the third spherical of a grand slam for the primary time after a few years.”
“She [Raducanu] had an incredible end result successful a grand slam at such a younger age. Such a expertise and it was a very nice expertise. I’m glad that I confirmed I can play at a excessive degree.”