Emma Raducanu narrowly loses to world No.1 Iga Swiatek in Stuttgart

Emma Raducanu pictured in action against Iga Swiatek at the Stuttgart Open
Emma Raducanu gave it everything and forced a first-set tie-break (Picture: Getty)

Emma Raducanu put in a strong performance but ultimately fell to defeat to world No.1 Iga Swiatek in the Stuttgart Open quarter-finals on Friday.

The British star, ranked world No.303 after a long spell away from the WTA Tour with injury problems and triple surgery, went into the clash as a huge underdog.

Swiatek, currently the best player in women’s tennis and winner of four major titles, produced a 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 victory over Raducanu to reach the semi-finals of the event in Germany.

There was a strange start to Raducanu’s match against Swiatek with the Polish star handed a time violation by the umpire for taking too long to change her shoes.

In the first game of the first set, Raducanu found herself 40-love down but battled back to break her opponent and fended off two break points in a lengthy game two before Swiatek levelled it up.

The duo traded service games for 2-2 and after Swiatek held again, she conjured up a break point in game six but was unable to covert as Raducanu fought back to make it 3-3.

Another exchange of service games took it to 4-4 and a Swiatek hold in game nine saw Raducanu serving to keep the first set alive – which she did successfully  – to level it up at 5-5.

Iga Swiatek pictured celebrating a point against Emma Raducanu
Poland’s Iga Swiatek narrowly beat British star Emma Raducanu (Picture: Getty)

Neither player was able to produce a break-point opportunity in the next two games to force a tie-break, with Swiatek showing her class to come out on top 7-2 to take the lead.

That saw Swiatek grow in confidence at the start of the second set as she raced into a 40-love lead in game one to break Raducanu for the second time in the match and she then held for 2-0.

Raducanu saved two break points in game three to avoid Swiatek running away with the match and the pair continued to hold serve until game nine as Swiatek produced her third break to win 7-6 (7-2) 6-3.

Despite losing to Swiatek, Raducanu is set for a significant jump up the rankings after she impressively beat former world No.1 Angelique Kerber and world No.31 Linda Noskova.

Those wins in Stuttgart saw Raducanu reach her first quarter-final since 2022 and followed her heroics for Great Britain in their Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers earlier this month.

Raducanu defeated world No.49 Diane Parry and world No.23 Caroline Garcia as Britain booked their place at the finals in November.

The 21-year-old is aiming to get back to the top of the sport having struggled with injuries and form since she sensationally tasted Grand Slam glory at the US Open in 2021.

Raducanu was ranked as high as world No.10 in 2022 and many pundits have tipped her to return to that level when she is back to full fitness.

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