‘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.

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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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