Emma Raducanu says she’ll “brush off” her first-round defeat at the Sydney Tennis Classic after being thrashed 6-0 6-1 by Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina.
The US Open champion was playing in her first match of the new season but looked a shadow of the player that triumphed at Flushing Meadows last September.
Rybakina has been in fine form so far this year and reached the final of the Adelaide International last week, before losing to Ashleigh Barty.
But while the world number 13 was mightily impressive on serve and dominated the baseline exchanges, Raducanu was broken five times and double-faulted on a number of occasions.
Such was the manner of her defeat that the 19-year-old immediately returned to the practice court after leaving the Ken Rosewall Arena so she could work on her game.
Despite being disappointed in her performance, the British number one had a positive mindset when it came to looking ahead to the Australian Open.
“I think I’ll brush this off,” she said. “Yesterday was pretty much my 2nd time playing competitive points for 2 months. I’m confident that I can brush it off and keep going and keep working.” Hit the practice court right after the match.
The teenager has been on the tour for less than a year and believes the real test is how she recovers from these setbacks.
“I just want to keep putting myself out there. Even if I keep getting knocked down, it’s just about getting back up and basically falling in front. You’re one step better and you learn more.
“I’m just at the start of my first season. My goal is to not get too down or too high.”
While Raducanu’s focus now turns to Melbourne next week, Rybakina is preparing for her round of 16 game against France’s Caroline Garcia tomorrow.
The 22-year-old has won twice on the WTA tour so far in her career but is yet to win a Grand Slam title.
Her best finish was at last year’s French Open, where she reached the quarter-finals, before losing to eventual finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Given her outstanding start to the calendar year, Rybakina will now enter the first Slam of the year as a very realistic contender.