‘She was always the favourite’ – Emma Raducanu on ‘interesting match-up’ against old rival Marta Kostyuk at Madrid Open

Emma Raducanu says she is anticipating “an interesting match-up” against former juniors rival Marta Kostyuk after progressing to the second round of the Madrid Open.

The 2021 US Open winner came from 5-2 down in the first set to beat Czech Republic’s Tereza Martincova 7-6(3) 6-0 on her debut at the WTA 1000 tournament to set up a meeting with Kostyuk.

Raducanu and Kostyuk have met once on the WTA tour and that was at the Transylvania Open quarter-finals last year which the Ukrainian won 6-2 6-1.


Raducanu battles back in ‘tricky first set’ to produce dominant victory over Martincova


The pair came through the juniors together and Raducanu is expecting to be tested again by the Kostyuk, who beat Clara Tauson 6-3 6-2 to reach the round of 32.

“All throughout juniors she was always the favorite when we played. She was considered much better. Yeah, it’s a funny one,” the British No. 1 told reporters.

“When we played last year she played very good, but also I wasn’t very well that day. So it’ll be an interesting match-up.”

Kostyuk says Raducanu’s inconsistency makes her an unpredictable opponent and expects them to go head-to-head many times in their careers.

“It was a really quick match [at the Transylvania Open]I have to say,” the 19-year-old said.

“She’s very explosive. She hits very hard. She’s still very new on tour, she hasn’t even played all the tournaments.

“At times, I don’t know what to expect from her because one match she can play really good, one match not very good.

“I have to always be ready for whatever. I cannot underestimate her or overestimate. I think we will play a lot of times in the future.”

Raducanu says she was “proud” with her ability to battle back against Martincova on a new clay court for her.

She added: “Whenever you play at a tournament for the first time it is different. And on a new court, I didn’t practice on that one, so I was just trying to get familiar with the surroundings.

“And she came out swinging very well, so I was definitely feeling like I had to dig in here because I knew I wasn’t playing my best at the beginning.

“I’m proud of the way I was able to make the most out of what I had on the day and then I settled down in the second set.”

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