Indian Wells 2022 - Emma Raducanu claims a maiden success at the BNP Paribas Open after battling past Caroline Garcia
Emma Raducanu kick-started her 2022 season with an impressive 6-1 3-6 6-1 victory over France's Caroline Garcia. The British number one was dominant at the start but had to dig deep to secure the win in a deciding set. The 19-year-old will now meet Petra Martic in round three after revealing Andy Murray's grit in his win over Taro Daniel inspired her to follow his example.
Emma Raducanu of Great Britain plays a forehand against Caroline Garcia of France in their second round match on Day 5 of the BNP Paribas Open
“I though the level of tennis was pretty high today, so it means a lot to get through, it could have gone either way. It’s tough playing against Caroline. She is really powerful and fast and as soon as I let up in the second set - my racket speed and ball speed dropped - she climbed on top of it. I had to make adjustments in the third set and I’m happy to have come through a tough one."
She added: "I’m really happy with how strong my performance was in the first and third set.
To get this win after the stop-start year I’ve had really means a lot. It was difficult after dropping that second set.
"I knew that I had slipped up, that I had missed too many first serves. I just said to myself, 'think how bad you will feel after the match if you let it go'."
“I was actually watching pretty much the whole match before I had to warm up," she told Amazon Prime. "It was great to see Andy battle through a tough match. He was down but found a way to battle through.
I wanted to watch him and learn from him. He kind of inspired me to dig in when it got tough today.
Raducanu appeared to be taking all of the frustration of an unfortunate start to 2022 out on Garcia in the initial exchanges as she flew out of the traps to seize immediate control of the proceedings.
Garcia had been frustrated to see four break points saved in Game Five and the writing appeared to be on the wall for the world number 66 when she dropped serve again at the very start of Set 2.
However, Raducanu could not maintain clutch tennis on the pressure points to consolidate and a much more even contest began to develop.
Garcia broke for a 4-2 lead courtesy of a thunderous crosscourt winner but then threw in back-to-back double faults in the following game to immediately gift Raducanu a reprieve.
It began a crazy finale to the second set as the French number two broke once again and appeared to be cruising at 40-0 as she attempted to serve it out. Cue a run of jittery double faults that saw Raducanu fend off four set points and earn a break opportunity of her own before Garcia finally got over the line to take the match into a decider.
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Another twist was just around the corner though and it was Raducanu who dragged the momentum her way to storm into a 3-0 lead.
An insurance break for 5-1 turned what appeared to be a tricky situation into a cruise to the finish line and she served out the match in style to cap a fine day in Stadium One for the Brits.