Emma Raducanu shines in Stephens win at Eastbourne International as Karolina Muchova returns with quick retirement win

Tuesday, 25 June 2024 at 15:23
The Eastbourne International continues into Day Two with Emma Raducanu and Karolina Muchova both making it into the second round albeit with varying degrees of victory on the south coast of England.
Raducanu in particular impressed with the former US Open champion initially coming through a marathon against Sloane Stephens in the opening set before thrashing her in the second in a real masterclass 6-4, 6-0 as she continues her superb grass court form on from Nottingham earlier this summer.
She reached the semi-final in the East Midlands earlier this summer losing to Katie Boulter and in a battle of the former US Open champions, she made light work of Stephens to move through to the second round. `The American started the brighter of the two. Both players produced double breaks and it seemed that the tie was heading towards a tie-break.
After being stuck at deuce, Raducanu conjured up a set point and this gave her the impetus to take the second set by the scruff of the neck. She was on absolute fire from there producing some of her best tennis with two comfortable holds and a fourth break of the afternoon to make it 3-0. Another break and hold put Raducanu 5-0 up and on the verge of a bagel which she sealed with a sixth break at 6-0;
The 21-year-old skipped the French Open earlier this summer in a bid to be ready for Wimbledon which starts on July 1 and in a landmark win has shown that she certainly means business on grass. As does K`arolina Muchova who said she wanted to come back and cause damage.
Albeit if time on court was what she was after, she didn't achieve that. She faced Elina Avanesyan in her return to action for the first time in 10 months. Only for the Russian to retire three games into the contest with injury handing the former Roland Garros finalist a walk-over win albeit after being well ahead anyway. Up 3-1 in claiming the walk-over, she now faces Magda Linette.

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