Hello, and welcome to our live blog of Emma Raducanu’s first round match at the Zavarovalnica Sava Portoroz tennis event, or the Slovenian Open as it is also known. Raducanu, who of course so brilliantly won the US Open in 2021, has struggled since and is today standing at number 83 in the world rankings. Can she stop the rot with a victory here in the first round over Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine?
Let’s check in on some recent Raducanu news while we wait for the players to come onto court at some time after 6pm.
Simon Briggs, the Telegraph’s tennis correspondent, advises that Emma now needs to put in the hard yards in the unglamorous events to build up experience, ranking points, court-craft and so on. Emma Raducanu’s road to redemption cannot take any shortcuts, Simon writes. “A spell of treading the boards at lesser events would earn her the respect of her peers in the locker-room, who have hitherto treated her as an arriviste.”
The question of her coaching and back-up team has been one that has come up a lot.
Raducanu says: “I want new experiences. It doesn’t really matter what it is. I think any player would be happy to win a tournament. I think it makes a massive difference no matter what the level is.”
Perhaps some guidance or inspiration might be found from the following piece.
She and Andy Murray could team up in a new mixed-gender tournament.
And what of this evening’s opponent? Yastremska is 22, from Odesa, and is herself ranked number 89 in the rankings. She has been as high as 21 and has reached the fourth round at Wimbledon so clearly no mug. We will see if Emma can get the show back on the road against her from some time after 6pm UK time, which is the earliest they can get on the court.
First, they must wait – as we all must – for the conclusion of the match between Clara Tauson of Denmark and Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is a six-foot Brazilian. The South American has won the first set and is 3-0 up in the second so hopefully that shouldn’t be too long.