Raducanu, Norrie knocked out as last Brits eliminated from Indian Wells

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Raducanu, Norrie knocked out as last Brits eliminated from Indian Wells

Emma Raducanu is out of Indian Wells after being beaten 6-3 7-5 by Aryna Sabalenka in the third round, as Cameron Norrie also lost on a disappointing day for the Brits.

Raducanu fought hard after losing the second set but was overpowered at times by Australian Open champion Sabalenka and she is still yet to win against a top-10 player on the WTA Tour.

The 21-year-old will be encouraged by her performance, though, as she produced some of her best tennis this year at times. She is next expected to play at the Miami Open, which begins on March 20 – live on Sky Sports Tennis.

“It was a tough match, she played unbelievable tennis and I am super happy with the level,” said Sabalenka post-match.

“I’m super happy to get through. I thought that the atmosphere would be different and you guys brought the best atmosphere, so thank you so much for the support.

“I wasn’t rushing things and just staying with myself and controlling myself and doing everything I can to win this match. That was the key.”

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Aryna Sabalenka is left puzzled by Emma Raducanu’s shot managing to stay in however goes on to win the match.

The opening four games of the match were shared before Sabalenka found the breakthrough in the middle of the first set and raced into a 5-2 lead before sealing the set.

It looked like the Belarusian was going to comfortably win the second set too when she again broke at 2-2, but Raducanu showed her fighting spirit and began to read the ball better to make it 3-3.

Raducanu held serve as Sabalenka became frustrated and was given a warning for her conduct as she shouted something following an unforced error.

A rare break-point chance for Raducanu came in the eighth game but she failed to take it as the match quickly went to 5-5.

Sabalenka broke to go 6-5 up and served for the match, sealing the winning point at the fourth time of asking to book a place in the last 16 against Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina or American Emma Navarro.

Emma Raducanu, Indian Wells

Image: Emma Raducanu won back-to-back matches at Indian Wells but is still looking for a win against a top 10 player

Can Raducanu work her way back up the rankings?

Sky Sports Tennis’ Naomi Broady:

“She’s got the level of tennis, so once she overcomes the injuries – she’s had the surgeries now and drawn the line in the sand, so can train properly – it’s dealing with the rest of the stuff, which you don’t know how to deal with it until you live it. It’s a learning curve. Everything is still so new.

“She’s cut a lot of the team she had around her. She said she just wanted to make it even smaller. In fact, I think she was only with her coach Nick Cavaday at Indian Wells. Some of the top players have physios, psychologists and fitness coaches. She’s keeping it as small as possible and only hiring people she can trust.”

Sky Sports Tennis’ Jonathan Overend:

“The big challenge for the life of Raducanu is this is a career in reverse. She’s won a Grand Slam title in her teens, done something virtually every other player will never get the chance to do and she’s already done it.

“Now she’s got to get used to working her way back up the rankings and playing tournaments that aren’t as high profile as these ones, but when they do come she’s got to believe she can play at that level because she has demonstrated it already in her career.”

Norrie defeated in thriller with Monfils

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Gael Monfils pulls off brilliant underarm serve to help steal a point over Cameron Norrie.

There is no more British singles representation at Indian Wells after Norrie lost an epic match to Gael Monfils 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (5-7) 3-6 in three hours and 12 minutes.

An extraordinary first set saw Norrie have 20 break points before he narrowly won a tense tie-break in a one hour and 22-minute marathon set.

The British No 1 took a 3-0 lead and looked well on his way to securing a spot in the fourth round but Monfils fought back to draw level at 3-3.

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Gael Monfils takes a heroic tumble in his epic tussle with Cameron Norrie in Indian Wells.

Norrie was two points from victory at 5-4 but Monfils managed to hold. Another tie-break was needed and this time, Monfils came out on top after a cheeky underarm serve in the middle of the tie-break and an incredible rally to win it and send the match into a decider.

The opening six games were shared before Norrie began to show signs of fatigue and faltered. Monfils capitalised to go 5-3 up and held serve to triumph.

Gauff beats Bronzetti

US Open champion Coco Gauff gave herself an early birthday present by beating Lucia Bronzetti 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).

Gauff, who turns 20 on Wednesday, struggled early but found a way to hold her serve by saving 10 of 11 break points.

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Highlights of the round of 32 match between Lucia Bronzetti and Coco Gauff at the Indian Wells Open.

She closed out the match with a serve into the body that Bronzetti couldn’t return. It extended Gauff’s winning streak in the United States to 18 matches, a run that includes winning the title at last year’s US Open.

Bronzetti had a chance to force a third set when she broke Gauff to take a 5-4 lead in the tie-break. Gauff won the next three points.

Gauff will face 24th seed Elise Mertens after the Beglian got the better of Naomi Osaka 7-5 6-4.

Mertens took a 3-0 lead in the opening set but was pegged back to 3-3 by Osaka, before the scores went to 5-5. Osaka was broken though in the 11th game and Mertens held serve to win the set.

Osaka was broken at the start of the second set but fought back again, before Mertens opened up a 5-3 lead and held serve to reach the last 16 of Indian Wells for the first time.

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