Emma Raducanu exits Australian Open in second-round loss to Wang Yafan

Emma Raducanu was playing just her second tournament since April (Picture: Getty)

Emma Raducanu has crashed out of the Australian Open with the British star losing to Chinese world No.94 Wang Yafan in the second round on Thursday.

Raducanu, currently ranked world No.296 after a long spell away from the WTA Tour with injury problems and subsequent surgery, lost 6-4 4-6 6-4.

It was just the second tournament back for Raducanu, who won the US Open as a qualifier in 2021 and was ranked as high as world No.10 two years ago.

Raducanu, who beat American world No.161 Shelby Rogers in her opening match, was bidding to reach the third round at Melbourne Park for the first time ever but her loss means it is Wang who will next face 12th-seed Zheng Qinwen.

The 21-year-old put up a good fight against Wang, winning the second set to force a decider – but looked fatigued and tired in the third set – and received a medical time-out before her exit was confirmed on Show Court 2.

Raducanu raised concerns over her fitness ahead of the tournament, pulling out of two warm-up matches against Mirra Andreeva and Donna Vekic, and had to have her blood pressure taken during her loss to Wang after becoming light-headed and struggling with her breathing, telling her box ‘I want to vomit’.

Her withdrawals came after an impressive showing in Auckland, her first WTA Tour event in nine months, beating Elena-Gabriela Ruse and looking strong in defeat to second-seed Elena Svitolina, who compared the Briton to world No.1 Iga Swiatek.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Gourley/Shutterstock (14297584dq) Emma Raducanu (GBR) during her first round match Australian Open, Day Three, Tennis, Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - 16 Jan 2024

Emma Raducanu received a medical time-out in the third set (Picture: Shutterstock)

Raducanu narrowly avoided qualifying for the Australian Open thanks to her protected ranking after a number of her fellow stars withdrew from the opening Grand Slam of the year.

Meanwhile, British No.1 Katie Boulter also lost in the second round on Thursday, suffering a 6-3 6-3 defeat to Chinese star Zheng.

In the men’s singles, British No.1 Cameron Norrie reached the third round with a five-set win over Giulio Zeppieri but Jack Draper lost to 14th-seed Tommy Paul.


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