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06 Oct 2022

Emma Raducanu marches to straight sets win over Moyuka Uchijima in Seoul

Emma Raducanu marches to straight sets win over Moyuka Uchijima in Seoul

Emma Raducanu advanced into the second round of the Korea Open as she saw off Japan’s Moyuka Uchijima in straight sets.

The British number one, currently at 77 in the world rankings, beat 126th-ranked Uchijima 6-2 6-4 in an hour and 18 minutes in Seoul, dominating for much of the contest before surviving a fightback by her opponent.

Raducanu will next face Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer, who had earlier defeated Czech Linda Fruhvirtova 6-1 6-4.

The 19-year-old will be eager to extend her run after making a second-round exit at last week’s Slovenia Open, her first tournament since the defence of her US Open title ended in round one.

After Uchijima held serve in the opening game of the match, Raducanu won the next five in a row en route to claiming the first set.

She subsequently broke Uchijima in the opener of the second and twice more again as she surged into a 5-0 lead.

Having looked entirely comfortable, the sixth seed was then broken when serving for the match, and Uchijima’s response continued with three more games to take the score to 5-4.

Uchijima then had break point at 40-30 up in the 10th, only for Raducanu to produce a couple of aces before wrapping up the victory.

Raducanu said post-match: “I think it was overall a pretty solid match until the end of the second set.

“It’s tough when you haven’t been playing that many matches, you’re not as used to those situations. I’m really happy with the way I regrouped and held the serve on that last game because it was really important to win that game.”

She added: “My goal on the court is to keep trying to swing freer and freer in each match. And my other goal is to try and stay in Korea for as long as possible.”

Raducanu also spoke about her physical condition, and her coach Dmitry Tursunov, who she has been working with since the summer, trying to help her to “become more easy-going”.

She said: “Last week I struggled a bit with my legs, just doing a lot of training, and as I said, the rest of this year is just really trying to build up physically for the next year.

“So I’m training a lot – like before the match today I did 90 minutes on the court, and I’m just trying to get myself in good shape.

“And that comes sometimes with small niggles. At the moment it’s something I’m just managing, but I know it’s for a greater benefit so I’ve kind of bought into that process.

“I have definitely done more since starting with Dmitry. I have done a lot more hours, and that’s something he and the other people in my team think is quite necessary, and myself included, just getting more robust, so long matches, or matches in a row, don’t affect me.

“And I think also just not trying to over complicate things for myself, he’s helping with that, because sometimes I enjoy doing that, thinking of worst possible outcome, and just over-thinking it. So he’s also trying to help me become more easy-going.”

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