Saturday , July 13 2024

Emma Raducanu says defeats to Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka motivated improvements to her serving | Tennis News

Emma Raducanu says improvements to her serve that have helped her reach the Nottingham quarter-finals were motivated by recent defeats to Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka.

Raducanu beat Ukraine’s Daria Snigur in straight sets on Thursday to advance to reach the last eight of a WTA grass-court tournament for the first time.

Her success on home soil follows losses to World No 3 Sabalenka in March on the hard courts of Indian Wells and World No 1 Iga Swiatek in April on clay in Stuttgart.

“I’m very happy to have come through that match,” Raducanu said after hitting 11 aces in the 6-2 6-2 win.

“It was a really tricky one in the conditions and I’m just very happy with how I dealt with all the circumstances. Daria’s a really difficult opponent so it is actually a really good achievement for me to have come through that one.

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Highlights of the Stuttgart Open quarter-final between Emma Raducanu and Iga Swiatek.

“I’m pleased for sure serving it out the first time. I served really well throughout the whole match and it did make the match a bit easier. If I had just a second serve, it would have just been a nightmare to play her.

“I’ve been working on every part of my game but obviously the serve is very important. It’s just repetition and I’m pleased to see the rewards in competition.

“Especially what I’ve realised, playing the top opponents like Iga (Swiatek) or Aryna (Sabalenka), you need a first serve because they’re very comfortable holding serve. If you don’t have one yourself then it’s very difficult.”

Raducanu has been without her coach Nick Cavaday in Nottingham due to him being unwell, so has instead had former British professional Jane O’Donoghue supporting her.

O’Donoghue, who twice reached the second round of Wimbledon during her own career, previously worked with Raducanu in her capacity as an LTA coach.

Raducanu struggled to find her range and timing in the first couple of games against 22-year-old Snigur, who is ranked 127th and proficient on grass having won the junior title at Wimbledon five years ago.

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Highlights of the round of 32 match at the Indian Wells Open between Emma Raducanu and Aryna Sabalenka.

But from 2-0 down Raducanu reeled off six games in a row before breaking twice more in the second set, while her serve helped her save seven of the eight break points she faced.

The 21-year-old was coughing and spluttering at times but played down concerns, saying: “I’m a bit sick but who isn’t? It doesn’t matter.”

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