Emma Raducanu faced a challenging defeat at the hands of world number 30 Anhelina Kalinina in the first round of the Qatar Open in Doha, highlighting her ongoing struggles.
The British player notably struggled in the initial set, committing 15 unforced errors compared to her Ukrainian opponent’s two.
Despite a more competitive second set where Raducanu saved two match points, Kalinina ultimately secured the victory with a score of 6-0, 7-6 (8-6).
Raducanu, a former US Open champion, is in the early phases of her comeback, having endured surgery on both hands and her left ankle, leading to a significant portion of her 2023 season being sidelined.
Raducanu had shown signs of recovery, winning a match in Auckland and reaching the second round of the Australian Open.
However, inconsistency surfaced with a comprehensive loss to Ons Jabeur and an early exit in Qatar, where she received a wildcard entry.
Despite having a set point in the second-set tiebreaker, Raducanu couldn’t capitalize, and Kalinina emerged victorious.
The Briton acknowledged the need to reevaluate her tournament scheduling, emphasizing the importance of planning her competitions more strategically.
With 48 unforced errors compared to Kalinina’s 22, Raducanu recognizes the areas that demand improvement as she navigates her return to competitive tennis.