Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka both lose in US Open first round
Natalie Martinez / USA TODAY Sports / USTA
Emma Raducanu did not know when she got a text message from her coach before the opening round of the US Open, with a simple, yet important question: “Are you ready?”
It had been a week of upheaval — for Raducanu, who was forced off the tour by back surgery in July to repair a herniated disc — and a long road back to a place where tennis dreams can come true.
Raducanu’s first match, against 18th-seeded Monica Niculescu, ended in a tense three-setter that she lost 6-4, 6-2.
She took the loss in stride, saying, “The tournament is still very short and I really have to believe that I can reach the next level.”
But she was already dreaming of a victory against world No. 5 Naomi Osaka, who began the tournament as the favorite but has lost three straight matches — 2-1, 2-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 to qualifier Jovana Kaveri, 3-0, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 2-6, 6-2 and 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.
An error from Kaveri led Raducanu to a double-set defeat in the first round of the US Open.
“I didn’t know how I would feel after losing, but I have to believe that I can still reach the good things,” Raducanu said. “When I won yesterday, I knew that the tournament is still short and there are many things that I can still get better for the next five days. It hasn’t stopped and I didn’t feel like it. But I’m very happy to be in this situation, and I can’t thank my coach, Alex Gimeno, enough.”
“I’m very happy to be in this situation and I can’t thank my coach Alex Gimeno enough.”
Her coach and father, Andrei Raducanu, who she lost to in their first-round match a week earlier, was on the court