A year into her apprenticeship as a newcomer at the top of her sport, every new week of competition brings new reminders of Emma Raducanu’s precociousness. Just two weeks ago, she played her first ever professional doubles match. She had never faced a multiple grand slam champion until this week when she demolished two in a row. On Thursday evening, finally, she stepped out onto the court against a top 10 opponent for just the second time of her life.
Standing before Raducanu was Jessica Pegula, one of the most improved players in recent years, and on a cool night in Mason, Ohio the American showed what it takes to beat a top player as she ended Raducanu’s bright run at the Western and Southern Open in the third round. In an intense battle that demanded first-strike tennis, Pegula’s greater firepower and consistency won out as she defeated Raducanu 7-5, 6-4.
This article was written by Tumaini Carayol in Cincinnati and originally published on www.theguardian.com