Emma Raducanu opens grass court season with nervy Shibahara win at Nottingham Open

Tuesday, 11 June 2024 at 16:30
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Emma Raducanu decided against playing Roland Garros or extending her clay court run with the Nottingham Open her first tournament on an extended clay court run. It should've been a rampant win but it was still a return to the winners circle regardless.
Raducanu took down Ena Shibahara 6-1, 6-4 in the East Midlands. She was given a wildcard this week by tournament director, Laura Robson who has always been a supporter of the former US Open champion.
A big name get for the tournament which also sees Ons Jabeur in action, it could be a good run this week with Marta Kostyuk who was potentially her next opponent falling by the wayside. The Ukrainian faced Daria Snigur in a compatriot clash. But it was the latter who won through and so will now face Raducanu. A good opportunity certainly presenting itself.
If she manages to defeat Snigur, it will be either Ashlyn Krueger or Caroline Dolehide/Fran Jones in the third round. Katie Boulter lurks as a potential late opponent. It was an expert start from Raducanu who went 6-1 up in the opening set sealing it with the Japanese only able to have two break points at the very start. But the second was a very nervy affair, she went 5-1 up and seemed to be en route to winning fairly comfortably.
But failed to close it out and gave her opponent hope. She finally sealed it though to stave off any comeback threat. On her return home for the first time since 2022, it was always going to be a bit nervy.
“It’s amazing to be playing on home turf. It’s been so long since I last really played in the UK. I played in France earlier this year. Against the French it was very loud but the other way. So to come here and feel like everyone is really behind me is really nice. I’m cherishing every moment of that too," she said post match.

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