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Qatar Open: Anhelina Kalinina knocks out Emma Raducanu in first round

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Doha | February 12, 2024 10:55:00 PM IST
Anhelina Kalinina produced an immaculate to defeat wild card Emma Raducanu in the first round of the Qatar Open, triumphing 6-0, 7-6(6) in one hour and 39 minutes.

The Ukrainian cruised through the first seven games, dropping just 12 points, but had to save one set point in the second-set tiebreak before completing her third match point. She is the third player from her country to reach the second round in Doha, following triumphs by Marta Kostyuk and Lesia Tsurenko on Sunday.

Kalinina dominated the first set, outmanoeuvring Raducanu with forehand spin and speed variations while committing only two unforced errors to her opponent's 15. The World No.30 finished the first set in 23 minutes and broke early in the second set thanks to a Raducanu double fault. During this time, Kalinina did not face a single game point.

However, Raducanu's forehand changed the outcome of the second set. A crosscourt winner from that wing put her on the board, bringing Kalinina back to 1-1. The 21-year-old consistently found down-the-line scorchers to escape out of danger, saving one break point at 1-1 and five more at 3-3. Raducanu saved 10 of the 15 break points she faced, converting two on Kalinina's serve.

Even when Raducanu's forehand failed, causing her to be broken at 5-5, she remained determined to pursue it. She saved two match points as Kalinina served for victory, the second with another forehand down the line, and forced a tiebreak with some fierce returning.

When it counted, Kalinina proved to be more reliable. Raducanu had one set point, but Kalinina dominated the match from start to finish with her own forehand. A stunning all-court exchange earned the 27-year-old her third match point.

Elsewhere, No.9 seed Barbora Krejcikova withdrew from the tournament due to a back injury ahead of her first-round tie with Anastasia Potapova. (ANI)

 
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