Seen as a potential good start on paper in terms of relative ranking and status against a wildcard, Emma Raducanu was all over the place as she was easily beaten by Anhelina Kalinina at the Qatar Open 0-6, 6-7 (2).
Raducanu who reached the second round last week in Abu Dhabi has been showing good signs in her comeback this far but hit a stumbling block after losing out to Ons Jabeur last week with ease.
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It was so nearly a comprehensive win for the Ukrainian who took the former US Open champion to task in the opening set. It was an easy bagel with Raducanu not at the races. Her serve in particular was all over the place and through the tie she had 48 unforced errors.
The US Open champion came from match point down in the second to force a tiebreak. But she couldn’t force a decider with a set point missed and the inevitable was only delayed slightly as Kalinina edged the tiebreak.
Kalinina who starred last season around this time reaching the Rome final has had a poor start to the season. But will look to revive her fortunes after seeing off Raducanu. Next up will be Jelena Ostapenko as Doha begins. Iga Swiatek and Naomi Osaka both to come this afternoon in the desert as the WTA 1000 kicks off albeit with Raducanu tasting an early loss.