September 25, 2022

Emma Raducanu withdrew from Wimbledon in the second round of women’s singles after losing 6-3, 6-3 to Caroline Garcia on Wednesday.

Garcia, ranked 55th in the world, beat the British No. 1 and defending US Open champion in 86 minutes on center court.

The loss means it is three straight second-round defeats for 19-year-old Raducanu in this year’s Grand Slam tournaments. It has been a tough year for Raducanu after claiming her remarkable triumph at the US Open in 2021. She has struggled with several injuries, while the start of the season has been disrupted by a positive COVID-19 test in December .

“There’s no pressure. Like, why is there pressure? I’m still 19. Like, it’s a joke. I literally won a Grand Slam,” said Raducanu. “Yeah, I got attention. But I’m a Slam champion, so nobody’s going to take that away from me. Yeah, if anything, the pressure is on those who haven’t. ”

Raducanu entered Wimbledon this year having played just seven lawn tennis matches this year, as she retired in the first round from Nottingham after suffering a side strain. It was unclear whether she would be fit for Wimbledon, but she faced Alison Van Uytvanck on Monday, and in her first-ever match on center court, she won in straight sets.

But Garcia, 28, proved too much for Raducanu, breaking her serve twice en route to winning the opening set. Garcia then broke Raducanu’s serve to make it 3-2 in the second, only for Raducanu to return in the next game. But the parity didn’t last long as Garcia broke Raducanu’s serve again in the next game and then held to go up 5-3.

The crowd continued to line up behind Raducanu as she went to serve to stay in the match, but Garcia needed only one match point to book her place in the second round as she broke Raducanu’s serve for the fifth time.

For Garcia, the triumph means she started her Wimbledon singles campaign with back-to-back victories over British hopefuls, after needing three sets to overtake Yuriko Miyazaki in the first round on Monday. Garcia, whose best Grand Slam record was his quarter-final at the 2017 French Open, now faces No. 33 seed Shuai Zhang in the third round on Friday.

For Raducanu, the focus now turns to the hard-court season as she builds her US Open title defense.

“Coming back to New York is going to be cool because I have a lot of experience playing on big courts, playing with people in the stadium, playing with the spotlight on you,” Raducanu said. this. I mean, for me, everything is learned. I embrace every moment thrown at me. ”

Also on Wednesday, second seed Anett Kontaveit of Estonia was eliminated in the second round, losing to Jule Niemeier of Germany 6-4, 6-0.

Kontaveit has never reached the fourth round of the All England Club, the only one of the four major tournaments in which she has failed to get that far. She was making her eighth appearance at Wimbledon.

It was Kontaveit’s first game on grass this year.

Kontaveit, 26, said she had COVID-19 for the past few months and was struggling to regain her energy.

“I had it a few months ago, I think, or something. Then I tried to come back very quickly. I started training. It was low intensity, but I I was still training every day. I think that was where I went wrong,” she said. “Thinking back, I probably should have given myself more time to recover.”

Garbine Muguruza, the 2017 Wimbledon champion, was also eliminated, beaten by Greet Minnen 6-4, 6-0.

Among the winners were No. 6 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, who beat Tereza Martincova 7-6(1), 7-5 in a match that started on Tuesday, and No. 8 Jessica Pegula of the United States, who beat Croatian Donna Vekić 6-3, 7-6 (2).

Third seed Ons Jabeur, 12th seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia and 15th seed Angelique Kerber of Germany also qualified.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.