Raducanu leaves Auckland Classic after faltering in final set against Svitolina | Emma Raducanu

Elina Svitolina fought back from a set down after returning from injury in the second round of the ASB Classic in Auckland to beat Emma Raducanu 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-1. Raducanu defeated Elena-Gabriela Ruse in the first round to take the lead over the second seed in the first set before Svitolina fought back to take the win and advance to the third round. The Ukrainian will face Marie Bouzkova in the quarter-finals as she continues to prepare for the Australian Open.

The Brit, who had a career-best world ranking of No. 10 in 2022, looked set to take a set lead at 5-1. However, a determined Svitolina fought back and forced an unlikely tie-break where Raducanu finally got the job done and looked to extend her comeback from operations on both wrists and an ankle.

The Ukrainian broke Raducanu early in the second set, but the 2021 US Open champion broke back and her serve game was flawless as the match went to a tiebreak for the second time. Raducanu beat Svitolina twice early on to gain the upper hand, but the world number 25 refused to be defeated and fought back with six points in a row to take the game into the decider.

The final set proved too much for Raducanu as she was broken early and Svitolina took control by taking a 5-0 lead.

Elina Svitolina: “Emma played a great game and it was really difficult physically.” Photo: Brett Phibbs/AP

Raducanu dodged the bagel with a serve, but Svitolina soon secured a comfortable win. “I can assume that I played at a high level for two long sets,” said Raducanu. “I’m proud of how quickly I was able to improve my level because Elina doesn’t give you anything. To be able to play again in my second match like I did for two sets… the level increased very quickly.”

Svitolina said: “It was a great game from both of us. Emma played a great game and it was really difficult physically. I hope I will recover for tomorrow.

I’m happy with the way I handled pressure moments and it was just a really great start to the year.”

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This article was amended on January 3, 2024 to clarify Emma Raducanu’s career-best world ranking.

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