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Sport Emma Raducanu holds Transylvania Open regret she wants to rectify next year after exit

21:25  30 october  2021
21:25  30 october  2021 Source:   express.co.uk

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Emma Raducanu regrets that she wasn't able to play the match all the local fans wanted to see at the Transylvania Open this week. The young Brit secured her first two WTA Tour victories in Cluj-Napoca this week, but fell at the quarter-final stage to one of her rivals from the junior circuit.

Despite losing five consecutive games and the first set, Raducanu beat Polona Hercog in her first match in her father's homeland of Romania, and followed it up with a straight-sets victory over Ana Bogdan.

But Marta Kostyuk proved to be too strong for the young Briton in the last eight, and took just 57 minutes to knock the US Open champion out of the competition.

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It was a repeat of when they last met in 2015, when Raducanu was just 12, as the Briton admitted before the match that she had been "absolutely destroyed" by the Ukrainian that day.

Defeat at that stage meant there would be no first WTA Tour semi-final for Raducanu, while it also deprived her of the opportunity to go head-to-head with one of her tennis idols.

Having declared herself "proud to be Romanian" ahead of the tournament, local fans would have been hopeful of a meeting between the 18-year-old and their home-grown star Simona Halep.

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Emma Raducanu was knocked out of the Transylvania Open by world number 55 Marta Kostyuk © GETTY Emma Raducanu was knocked out of the Transylvania Open by world number 55 Marta Kostyuk

And those dreams would have been realised had Raducanu beaten Kostyuk, as it was the Ukrainian who faced - and was soundly beaten by - the two-time Grand Slam champion.

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Raducanu wanted to face the former world number one in front of the Romanian fans, and hopes she will get the opportunity to do so at next year's event.

"It's just disappointing that you have these days. It's not a nice feeling to have," she said.

"I just need to move on from it, brush it off and then I'll be back in another tournament soon."

Raducanu added: "I would love to see Simona win. She is still one of my idols, I love to watch her play and learn from her.

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"It's a shame I couldn't play her. I think she's a very cool person, a great player. I can't wait to watch her for the rest of the tournament."

She would surely have enjoyed Halep's resounding victory over her conqueror Kostyuk, then, as she dropped only one game in a demolition of the world number 55.

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That set up a shootout in the final against the Estonian Anett Kontaveit, with the top two seeded players in the tournament facing off for the trophy.

As for Raducanu, her exit from the competition means a trip to the capital Bucharest to visit her grandmother, while she will also have more time to ponder her next move in the search for a new coach.

Romanian tennis icon Simona Halep is one of Emma Raducanu's childhood heroes © GETTY Romanian tennis icon Simona Halep is one of Emma Raducanu's childhood heroes

She is next scheduled to play at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz from November 6.

After that, Raducanu says she is relishing the prospect of her first full pre-season and the trip to Melbourne for the Australian Open.

"I'm really excited to go to Melbourne," she said. "I played the juniors there and it's an incredible city but obviously the pros is different.

"But I'm excited, it's going to be my first time going there as a pro. So it's going to be a new experience, a new locker room.

"I am going to have to find my way around again and ask for directions but I'm excited to go."

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