Emma Raducanu survived a fresh injury scare to upset 20th seed Magda Linette in Indian Wells. The world No 77 raised some concerns when she called the physio in the first set but was able to come through 7-6(3) 6-2 in just an hour and 50 minutes. Raducanu is now through to the third-round of the BNP Paribas Open for the second year running.
Raducanu was more prepared coming into her second-round match at Indian Wells as the 20-year-old managed to have a hit on her day off. The world No 77 had been in doubt to even take to the court for her opener, cancelling a practice session and pulling out of an exhibition match on Tuesday.
She later revealed that she decided to play 20 minutes before taking to the court and it was the right decision as she downed Danka Kovinic to advance to a showdown with 20th seed Magda Linette. Raducanu had already defeated the Pole last year and was the first to set up a break point in the third game of their second meeting but failed to convert.
It was Linette who drew first blood, breaking the world No 77 after being forced to save a break point herself. But Raducanu refused to go down easy and managed to break back a couple of games later, keeping herself hot on the world No 21’s heels at 3-4.
The 20th seed was visibly struggling to respond to Raducanu’s brand of tennis as the Brit broke for a second time, taking a 6-5 lead to serve for the first set as both players sat down for the changeover. But the world No 77 suddenly called the physio to the court and was seen taking a tablet and having her wrist rubbed, but she refused an extended three-minute medical time out and continued playing.
Following her decision to call the physio, Raducanu was then broken to love as she appeared to struggle with her troublesome wrists and the set went to a tiebreak. But she immediately bounced back and dominated the Pole in the breaker, finally taking the first set 7-6(3).
Raducanu continued to outplay the 31-year-old, setting up the first break point of the second set while 2-1 up. Linette was then disrupted by a spectator in the crowd during her serve and double-faulted to hand Raducanu the break and put her within touching distance of the third round.
The world No 77 continued to hold strong as she fought off two break-back points from Linette in the very next game, and she managed to break the 20th seed one more time in the final game of the match to close out a 7-6(3) 6-2 victory. With the Pole coming off the back of an impressive run to the Australian Open semi-final, it was an admirable win for Raducanu as she continues her comeback from injury and illness. She will now face either Katerina Siniakova or 13th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia.