Emma Raducanu suffers fightback defeat to Elina Svitolina in Auckland

Elina Svitolina fought back from a set down to beat Emma Raducanu 6-7 (5) 7-6 (3) 6-1 on her return from injury in the second round of the ASB Classic in Auckland.

The former British world number one defeated Elena-Gabriela Ruse in the first round – following operations on both her wrists and ankle – and took a first-set lead over the second seed before Svitolina fought back to take victory and advance into the third round.

She will face Marie Bouzkova in the quarter-finals of the tournament as she continues preparations for the upcoming Australian Open.

Raducanu looked like she would ease into a one-set lead when she went 5-1 ahead, but a determined Svitolina fought back to force an unlikely tie-break where Raducanu would eventually get the job done.

The Ukrainian broke Raducanu early in the second set as she looked the level matters but the 2021 US Open champion broke back and her service game was immaculate as the game entered a tie-break for a second time.

The Brit broke Svitolina twice early in the tie-break to gain the upper hand but the world number 25 refused to be beaten as she fought back with six straight points to eventually take the game into a deciding set.

The final set proved too much for the 21-year-old as she was broken early in the third and Svitolina took control of proceedings by winning the next three games before heading into a 5-0 lead.

Raducanu dodged the bagel with a hold of serve in the sixth but Svitolina soon after wrapped up a comfortable win.

“I can take away that I played a high level for two, long sets,” Raducanu said afterwards. “I’m proud of how quickly I was able to get my level up, as Elina gives you nothing.

“To be able to play like I did for two sets, in my second match back… the level was raised really quickly.”

After the game, Svitolina said on court: “It was a great match from both of us. Emma played a great match and it was really difficult, physically.

“I hope I will recover for tomorrow, be ready and you guys can give me some support.

“Two great matches and now against Emma, they played really well. I am happy with the way I handled pressure moments and just a really great way to start the year.”

Sourse: breakingnews.ie

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