juin 29, 2022

Emma Raducanu: British No 1 set to face Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus in second round | Tennis News

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Raz Mirza

Interviews, Comment & Analysis @RazMirza

Emma Raducanu takes on Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 10am (BST) for a place in the third round of the French Open on Wednesday; Tennis commentator Barry Cowan has called it a ’50/50 match’ and says she will need to play better than in her opening match against Linda Noskova

Last Updated: 24/05/22 6:15pm

Barry Cowan believes Emma Raducanu has an opportunity to do well in French Open but she faces a 50/50 clash against Aliaksandra Sasnovich next

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Barry Cowan believes Emma Raducanu has an opportunity to do well in French Open but she faces a 50/50 clash against Aliaksandra Sasnovich next

Barry Cowan believes Emma Raducanu has an opportunity to do well in French Open but she faces a 50/50 clash against Aliaksandra Sasnovich next

Emma Raducanu says playing at Roland Garros is giving her similar « vibes » to the US Open as the British No 1 prepares to face Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus in the second round on Wednesday.

Raducanu was forced to fight back from a set down to see off 17-year-old debutant Linda Noskova in a roller-coaster ride on Monday.

The Briton had insisted she was fit to compete despite pulling out of the Italian Open with a back injury earlier this month, the latest in a series of injury problems which has troubled her progress on the Tour since her improbable run to glory at the US Open.

Pumping iron in a bid to keep up with the heavyweights

Aliaksandra Sasnovich eased past Wang Xinyu 6-4 6-1 to makes it through to a date with Raducanu

Aliaksandra Sasnovich eased past Wang Xinyu 6-4 6-1 to makes it through to a date with Raducanu

Now Raducanu prepares to face Sasnovich with the potential prize of a third-round date against Angelique Kerber on the horizon.

She believes her physicality and stamina are slowly improving having put in the hard graft in the lead up to Roland Garros.

« One thing that I have been doing in the lead-up for this week and the whole of last week, I was doing a lot in the gym, a lot before practice, after practice, just keeping all the muscles fired up, » said the 19-year-old.

« It’s something I probably haven’t really done before, train through tournaments. I am pretty pleased with how I was out there physically, and I feel really good, to be honest. »

Raducanu also feels she’s starting to feel a touch of déjà vu to when she won her maiden Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows.

« I think that the French Open, I’d say it gives me similar vibes to the US Open just because of the crowd and just how involved they get, » she said.

« It’s a complete contrast to Wimbledon where it’s dead silent. You can actually hear a pin drop before you serve. It’s incredible. It definitely took some getting used to, but when I went out there today, I was honestly just enjoying it. »

Sasnovich is ranked 47 in the world and has reached this stage in Paris four previous times. The Minsk right-hander, who reached the last 32 in Rome earlier this month, will fancy her chances against Raducanu.

R2 Sasnovich

R3 Kerber

R4 Kvitova

QF Sakkari

SF Azarenka/Gauff

F Swiatek

Is this an opportunity to go deep in the draw for Raducanu?

The best players, once they get through that first match, they seem to grow into the tournament and let’s hope that is the case for Raducanu.

Barry Cowan on Emma Raducanu at the French Open

The bottom half of the women’s draw has been decimated with defending champion Barbora Krejcikova falling at the first hurdle, leaving Maria Sakkari as the highest-ranked seed left in that half of the draw.

« This is an opportunity for Raducanu and Sasnovich to go deep in the draw, » Barry Cowan told Sky Sports. « Naturally, you’d look at the seed and think Raducanu should win this match but I would say it’s a 50/50 match.

« If it was on a hard court or grass court I would feel a lot more confident but I think on a clay court, this is definitely a 50/50 match and Raducanu will need to play better.

« The best players, once they get through that first match, they seem to grow into the tournament and let’s hope that is the case for Raducanu. »

At world No 12, the Brit is one of the highest-ranked players left in the bottom half, but Cowan believes rankings goes out of the window when it comes to Grand Slams.

« If she stays in that mindset she had against Noskova then Raducanu is going to win a lot of matches, » he said. « She showed what a composed woman she is on the court but also tactically how she can figure things out herself. »

He continued: « I’d be surprised if Sasnovich hits the ball as hard, as heavy and as impressive as Noskova did for a set and a half, because that was Top 20 tennis from the Czech. »

The winner of Raducanu’s match will face three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber or Elsa Jacquemot of France in the third round.

Norrie in action against Australian qualifier

Cameron Norrie says he is feeling at home on the Paris clay having picked up his first title on the surface in Lyon at the weekend.

The British No 1, now rubbing shoulders with the world’s top 10, swept past French wildcard Manuel Guinard to set up a Wednesday showdown with Australian qualifier Jason Kubler.

« I’m more just locked in on the level and locked in on my next opponent, » said Norrie, 26.

« I feel like I’m a more experienced player and a better player than I was a couple of years ago. I feel the same, but just my game’s improved and I’ve just got to keep backing it up every day.

« I’m still really enjoying playing at this level. Still I’m not a guy that I’m going to come out and just blast guys off the court. I’m going to take time grinding the guy down.

« I have to use my legs a lot and run and run the guy down, otherwise I have no shot with these guys and their level. So I’ve always got to do it the hard way and I managed to do that more and more on this surface. »

Dan Evans takes to the court on Thursday when the 29th seed goes up against Sweden’s Mikael Ymer.

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