Raducanu cruises past Kostyuk with top display at Madrid Open


mma Raducanu produced a superb performance to cruise past Marta Kostyuk and reach the third round of the Madrid Open.

The British star has struggled for consistency since winning the US Open last summer but there have been signs of real promise in recent weeks, pushing world number one Iga Swiatek in Stuttgart and now continuing that in Madrid.

It’s Raducanu’s first experience of a clay-court season on the WTA Tour and there is plenty to suggest it could be a surface that she enjoys success on in the years to come.

The 19-year-old won 11 of the last 12 games to see off Tereza Martincova in the opening round after a poor start, and backed them up by racing to a 6-2 6-1 success against fellow teenager Kostyuk.

Speaking on court, Raducanu said: “I’m definitely very happy with my performance today. Marta is a great opponent, we played several times in the juniors and then once last year.

“I knew it was always going to be a really tough battle so I went out there trying to be really aggressive and it definitely paid off.”

The pair are almost the same age but Ukrainian Kostyuk, who has spoken extensively about the effect the war in her homeland has had on her, has been playing on the main tour since she was 15 while Raducanu has been a full-time professional for less than a year.

They played in Romania last October, with Raducanu affected by illness and Kostyuk winning by an identical scoreline, but here the British player began on the front foot and did not let up.

Everything was working, in particular her forehand and serve, with Raducanu dropping just six points on her own delivery during the match.

The ninth seed will next face another Ukrainian in Anhelina Kalinina, who was a surprisingly one-sided winner over home star Garbine Muguruza.

Clay is not normally a particularly happy hunting ground for British players but the altitude of Madrid makes conditions faster and Raducanu’s victory was one of three on Sunday.

Twenty-year-old Jack Draper, who is surging up the rankings, claimed his second best win by ranking, taking out world number 27 Lorenzo Sonego 6-4 6-3 in his first tour-level match on clay.

Sonego has struggled this season and Draper, ranked 124, took full advantage to set up a clash with sixth seed Andrey Rublev.

Dan Evans arrived in Madrid having lost six of his last seven matches but claimed a morale-boosting 6-3 6-4 success against Argentinian Federico Delbonis.

Additional reporting by PA Sport.

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