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Raducanu blames schedule, day match and outdoors tie after loss

DOHA, QATAR - FEBRUARY 12: Emma Raducanu of Great Britain plays a forehand during her straight sets defeat against Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine in their first round match during the Qatar TotalEnergies Open, part of the Hologic WTA Tour at Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex on February 12, 2024 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Emma Raducanu cited a lack of preparation for her 6-0 7-6 defeat to unseeded Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina at the WTA Qatar Open.

The 2021 US Open winner blamed a lack of practice outdoors and cited her match as her first in the day in a year.

Raducanu made 48 unforced errors in a match that saw her lose the first set 6-0 in just 22 minutes.

“To be honest I never felt like I really got into it,” Raducanu said after the defeat.

“I think it was a combination of things. It was my first day match in nearly a year so that’s different and I need to practise training outside a bit more because it is very different and with light fading and shadows. It is hard to see the ball.

Raducanu struggled with ‘everything’

“When the tennis isn’t there I think that you need to at least fight and I did that in the second set.”

“I was struggling with everything, forehand, backhand and return,” Raducanu added.

“It was hard because she [Kalinina] had a good backhand so I just struggled with the timing of the ball and it is going to come with more time practising.

“It is hard for me to get used to the tour schedule. I think I need to schedule my tournaments better.”

There is a high ranking WTA 1000 event later this month in Dubai and a second tier WTA 500 event in San Diego in February before the unofficial fifth Grand Slam at Indian Wells in March.

Raducanu’s year has so far seen her reach the round of 16 in New Zealand, the second round of the Australian Open, the second round of the Abu Dhabi Open and the first round in Qatar. ]

Winner Kalinina will now take on eighth seed Jeļena Ostapenko in the second round.