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WTA Tour: Raducanu makes quick work on return to grass in Nottingham

11 Jun, 2024 20:45 IST|Sakshi Post

Nottingham (UK), June 11 (IANS) Emma Raducanu's decision to skip the French Open to focus on the grass-court circuit paid off in her first outing on the surface, as she romped past qualifier Ena Shibahara in the first round of the Rothesay Open here on Tuesday. Raducanu defeated Shibahara 6-1, 6-4 in a 70-minute encounter.

The 22-year-old Raducanu was playing her first match on grass since Wimbledon 2022. This time last year, she was confined to a mobility scooter as she recuperated from multiple wrist and ankle surgeries.

The British player surged to a 6-1, 5-1 lead in dominant fashion before holding off a late charge from Shibahara to close out the win in straight sets.

Former doubles No.4 Shibahara has been shifting her focus to singles this year and has raised her ranking over 250 places since January to its current No.274. She came into this match with a 30-8 record this season, and her serve-and-volley tactics posed a unique challenge for Raducanu.

"All credit to Ena, she's making it very tricky on the grass courts with the serve-and-volley and it's very tough to find a way past, but I'm pleased with how I dealt with the circumstances today," said Raducanu.

The Briton found a lob to break Shibahara in the opening game and then a superb pass to gain the double break for 4-1. The second of those was part of a seven-game streak in which Raducanu was in full control; Shibahara's strategy was only intermittently effective against the former US Open champion's solidity.

From 5-1 down in the second set, Shibahara raised her game to break Raducanu twice, with the latter also contributing an increased number of errors. But at 5-4, Raducanu regained her focus, coming up with a brilliantly angled return winner en route to breaking Shibahara for the win.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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