Emma Raducanu survives late wobble to see off Moyuka Uchijima at Korea Open

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Emma Raducanu survives late wobble to see off Moyuka Uchijima at Korea Open
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Emma Raducanu vs Moyuka Uchijima live: score and latest updates from Korea Open 2src22 - AFP

Emma Raducanu vs Moyuka Uchijima live: score and latest updates from Korea Open 2022 – AFP

  • Raducanu wins in straight sets despite first serve struggles

  • Briton will face Yanina Wickmayer in second round

Emma Raducanu advanced into the second round of the Korea Open as she saw off Japan’s Moyuka Uchijima in straight sets.

The British number one, currently at 77 in the world rankings, beat 126th-ranked Uchijima 6-2 6-4 in an hour and 18 minutes in Seoul, dominating for much of the contest before surviving a fightback by her opponent.

Raducanu will next face Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer, who had earlier defeated Czech Linda Fruhvirtova 6-1 6-4.

The 19-year-old will be eager to extend her run after making a second-round exit at last week’s Slovenia Open, her first tournament since the defence of her US Open title ended in round one.

After Uchijima held serve in the opening game of the match, Raducanu won the next five in a row en route to claiming the first set.

She subsequently broke Uchijima in the opener of the second and twice more again as she surged into a 5-0 lead.

Having looked entirely comfortable, the sixth seed was then broken when serving for the match, and Uchijima’s response continued with three more games to take the score to 5-4.

Uchijima then had break point at 40-30 up in the 10th, only for Raducanu to produce a couple of aces before wrapping up the victory.

By Press Association

Emma Raducanu wins 6-2, 6-4: As it happened

09:21 AM

The moment the win was secured

09:07 AM

Raducanu gets over the line 6-2, 6-4

Raducanu wins the crucial first point of the game on serve, which should settle her down and allay any internal doubts. Uchijima responds though, with a forehand down the line spooned up for a smashed winner. 15-15.

An unforced error from Uchijima makes it 30-15 to Raducanu, though. Raducanu’s errant first serves starting to come back to bite her, and Uchijima gets it back to 30-30 on her second serve.

Raducanu then serves an untimely double fault, her FIFTH of the match, and Uchijima has break point!

Just when she needed it though, Raducanu serves up an Ace to send the game to deuce. And then another Ace! Raducanu has her third match point.

Uchijima can’t control the return and that is Raducanu over the line. Three accurate first serves when required. A collapse from 6-2, 5-0 would have been unthinkable.

09:00 AM

Raducanu* 6-2, 5-4 Uchijima (*denotes next server)

Now Uchjima is getting the rub of the green, with the ball clipping the top of the net and toppling over which produces an apology to Raducanu. 30-0.

Raducanu with a more assertive winner but then drags one, to put Uchijima 40-15 on serve.

It was a close shave, but Raducanu produces a stunning forehand down the line to get back to 40-30.  But Uchijima steps in to seal a four consecutive game. Raducanu will serve for the match for the THIRD time.

08:56 AM

Raducanu 6-2, 5-3* Uchijima (*denotes next server)

Raducanu looking to serve out the match, but she loses the first two points to find herself 30-0 down.

Retrieves one of those points, but another double fault – Raducanu’s fourth of the match – has Uchijima 40-15 up.

And the Japanese player produces a fine return to break again. Raducanu being made to work.

08:52 AM

Raducanu* 6-2, 5-2 Uchijima (*denotes next server)

Uchijima had won just five points on serve in this set but produced a comfortable hold in that game. Raducanu needs to steady herself and seal the match on serve.

08:49 AM

Raducanu 6-2, 5-1 Uchijima* (*denotes next server)

Raducanu is not messing about, quickly establishing a 30-0 lead before her second double fault of the match.

It is only a temporary blip, as Uchijima fails to return another Raducanu forehand. Two match points.

Uchijima retrieves one, before another double fault from Raducanu. A loss of concentration and we are back to deuce.

Uchijima produces a fine return and has a break point. And break she does after a skewed Raducanu forehand.

08:42 AM

Raducanu* 6-2, 5-0 Uchijima (*denotes next server)

Uchijima really struggling to keep pace now, and Raducanu has two points for a 5-0 lead in this second set. Raducanu’s power is proving overwhelming, and a forehand that is too hot to handle puts the Briton within one game of winning the match in straight sets.

08:39 AM

Raducanu 6-2, 4-0 Uchijima* (*denotes next server)

Raducanu’s cruise through the second set continues, as she holds serve against a rather dispirited Uchijima now. That first serve percentage is also slowly creeping up.

08:34 AM

Raducanu* 6-2, 3-0 Uchijima (*denotes next server)

Uchijima executes a couple of well-timed volleys to lead 30-0 on serve, but Raducanu’s superior strokeplay quickly has her level.

Raducanu takes it to deuce with an aggressive forehand return, could be a chance to win a double-break in the second set.

The pressure tells on Uchjima, and Raducanu is in complete control now at 3-0 and two breaks up in the second set.

Emma Raducanu of Britain returns the ball against Moyuka Uchijima of Japan  - AFP

Emma Raducanu of Britain returns the ball against Moyuka Uchijima of Japan – AFP

08:28 AM

Raducanu 6-2, 2-0 Uchijima* (*denotes next server)

Raducanu’s first serve still not firing, helping Uchijima establish a 30-0 lead in the game. The Briton bounces back to level though with the help of a challenge.

An excellent cross-court forehand makes it 40-30, and Raducanu’s play from the baseline consolidates the serve.

08:25 AM

Second set: Raducanu* 6-2, 1-0 Uchijima (*denotes next server)

Uchijima serves first, but starts the second set with a double fault. Responds with a lovely forehand to make it 15-15.

Raducanu’s strong return game comes to the fore however, dictating the court and her opponent, and the No 6 seed establishes two break points.

A double-handed backhand from Raducanu pushes Uchijimi back and that is a break of serve.

08:19 AM

Raducanu wins the first set 6-2

With the game level at 15-15, Raducanu delivers a much stronger first serve deep on the T to seize the initiative. Follows that up with a successful wide serve to Uchijima’s backhand side. Two set points for Raducanu.

Raducanu requires another second serve, but Uchjima’s return flies long and that is the first set in the bag for Raducanu.

08:14 AM

Raducanu* 5-2 Uchijima (*denotes next server)

Both players exchange points before a Raducanu backhand rocks Uchjima back on her heels, giving the Briton a 30-15 lead against serve. Uchijima responds with a solid first serve, 30-30.

Raducanu then passes up an opportunity to punish a fairly weak second serve from Uchijima serve, but wins the next point with a cross-court return. Deuce.

Uchjima’s serve holds up well, and Raducanu will need to serve for the set.

08:09 AM

Raducanu 5-1 Uchijima* (*denotes next server)

Good work from Raducanu, punishing a return that was ballooned into the air by moving in and volleying. Backs it up on the next point to claim a 30-0 lead.

For the first time in the match, Raducanu loses a point off her second serve. Her first-serve percentage is down in the thirties.

Uchijima does not really look like punishing such errancy though, and Raducanu lands her first Ace of the match to win the game.

08:05 AM

Raducanu* 4-1 Uchijima (*denotes next server)

Raducanu’s backhand from deep on the baseline working to good effect, earning a 15-0 lead against serve, but Uchijima responds to cramp her opponent for space and force a forehand out, 15-15.

Sloppy shot from close to the net from Raducanu, duly punished to make in 30-15 Uchijima. Never enough on it.

It is only a temporary blip however, as Raducanu’s power in the rallies delivers her another break of serve. The first set is in her hands now.

08:01 AM

Raducanu 3-1 Uchijima* (*denotes next server)

Raducanu’s second serve proving sufficient again, but she will want to land a higher percentage of first serves against stronger opponents.

Uchijima gets back to 15-15 after Raducanu’s cross-court forehand is too strong. Raducanu gets the better of the next rally to lead 30-15, and she consolidates the break of serve with the minimum of fuss.

07:56 AM

Raducanu* 2-1 Uchijima (*denotes next server)

Uchijima’s strokeplay looking scruffy and Raducanu has three break points and the chance to seize some control of the match.

Uchijima saves the first of them, but badly miscues a forehand from close to the net that flies out. Raducanu now a break up.

07:53 AM

Raducanu 1-1 Uchijima* (*denotes next server)

Raducanu’s second serve holds up to win the first two points of the game, 30-0. A wide serve across Uchijima to her forehand side proves too hot to handle, 40-0 to the Briton.

Unsuccessful challenge from Raducanu after a first serve was called out, but she wins the next point. An unfussy service game in the bank.

07:50 AM

First set: Raducanu* 0-1 Uchijima (*denotes next server)

Uchijima wins the opening point on second serve, Raducanu rather fluffing a forehand, and it is soon 30-0 after Uchijima steps into a forehand winner.

Raducanu with another unforced error before an ace to her backhand side secures a swift hold for the Japanese player.

07:43 AM

Here we go!

The players are on court, with Emma Raducanu trying to quell doubts about her form and fitness. Uchijima is 49 places below her in the rankings, so anything other than victory will bring further questions.

Raducanu wins the toss and elects to receive.

07:37 AM

Wickyamer is the winner

The Belgian sees off Fruhvirtova 6-1, 6-4. Raducanu up next.

07:31 AM

Wickyamer one game away from victory…

That should mean Raducanu is on court within the next 10 minutes or so.

06:58 AM

Wickmayer won the first set

Having won the opener 6-1, the Belgian now leads Fruhvirtova 2-1 in the second set after a break of serve so we could be heading for a swift conclusion in that one.

06:34 AM

The start time pushed back

Raducanu is expected to be under way at approximately 7.15am now.  Yanina Wickmayer is currently 4-1 in the first set against Linda Fruhvirtova in the previous match on Centre Court.

06:17 PM

Raducanu’s long climb to the top

Emma Raducanu continues her bid to climb back up the rankings with today’s first-round clash against Moyuka Uchijima at the Korea Open.

The world No 77, who is coming off a second-round exit at the Slovenia Open last week, opens her campaign in Seoul as sixth seed against a player 49 places below her in the WTA Rankings.

In Slovenia, Raducanu suffered another injury scare during her disappointing loss to Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam in Portoroz.

Raducanu took a wild card into the low-key event and was the top seed but fell to a 7-5, 0-6, 6-3 defeat.

The British No 1 began well and opened up a 5-3 lead in the first set over qualifier Friedsam, who is ranked down at 213, although she has been a top-50 player.

Raducanu then lost four games in a row and began to look uncomfortable in her movement.

She took a medical timeout at the end of the first set and had her left thigh heavily strapped but breezed through the second set only to come up short in the decider.

The winner of today’s clash with Uchijima will face either newly-crowned Chennai Open winner Linda Fruhvirtova or Yanina Wickmayer in the second round with Magda Linette a projected quarter-final opponent.

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