Raducanu ‘proud’ despite defeat while Murray admits loss ‘not good enough’

Emma Raducanu said she was proud of the fight she demonstrated in her second-round match at the Australian Open on Thursday after she was defeated by Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic in three tight sets despite suffering badly from blisters.

On a day of disappointment for Britain at Melbourne Park, Andy Murray bowed out with a straight sets defeat to the qualifier Taro Daniel shortly before Raducanu was eliminated.

Due to her injury the 19-year-old was forced to spend much of the match slicing her forehand, which she says unlocked a new part of her game and underlined her fighting spirit after winning the US Open last year.

“I did discover elements of my game I didn’t know I had before, and I can use that going forward,”Dijo Raducanu.

“And also I just know that I’ve got that fight in me. Even if I have, me gusta, one shot, I know that I can pull myself out of deep situations. Because I’m still young, I feel like I can learn a backhand, I can learn some tactics, but it’s quite hard to learn or teach someone that fight and grittiness to hang in there when things are pretty much all against you. So I’m quite proud of that.”

Raducanu had reached the second round by defeating the former US Open champion Sloane Stephens before she fell 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to Kovinic. She admitted that she has been struggling with blisters since returning to training after missing a few weeks due to Covid. Raducanu revealed that members in her team did not even want her to compete in Australia but she fought to be there.

“That thought when I was slicing forehands and really struggling, era, me gusta, ‘do I [retire]?’ But I didn’t want to – as I said, some people in my team didn’t want me to even go out there.

“So I fought so hard just to come out to Australia and play here, and I didn’t want to go out like that. So I just left it all out on the court after everything I went through.”

Shortly before Raducanu’s exit, Murray’s return to the abierto de Australia ended in a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 defeat by Japan’s Daniel, who is ranked 120th in the world. Murray said that he wanted to come back to the tournament in 2023 but that is contingent on how well he performs this year.

"Sí,” said Murray when asked if he was planning to return next year. “But not if I do what I did tonight too often this season.

“This is a really important year for me for a number of reasons, and I want to perform well in the big events. Para mí, tonight is not good enough in that respect.”

Él agregó: “Making the second round of slams is not something I find particularly motivating. I want to be doing better than that. [Eso] depends on how I get on this year results-wise and how I perform in the big events.”

Two days after defeating Nikoloz Basilashvili, the 21st seed, over five gruelling sets, Murray said he was not in any physical pain but his disappointment was clear.

“It depends on many things,” said Murray of his future in the game. “But obviously a performance like tonight is not something I find motivating at this stage. I’m not sure I’ve lost a match to someone ranked outside [the Top] 100 before in a slam. No sé. I don’t think I have. So from that respect it’s not a great loss for me.”

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