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Emma Raducanu dazzles in first-ever pro clay court match

EMMA RADUCANU dazzled in her first-ever professional clay-court match – despite her hilariously grim prediction.

The teenage sensation incredibly reached the fourth round of Wimbledon and won the US Open ahead of a seniors match on the red stuff.

Emma Raducanu handled the clay quickly in her win

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Emma Raducanu handled the clay quickly in her winPhoto credit: Getty
The Brit pulled off the tie well in Saturday's reverse singles

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The Brit pulled off the tie well in Saturday’s reverse singlesPhoto credit: Getty

Raducanu, 19, represented Great Britain in the Billie Jean King Cup away against the Czech Republic.

And she battled world No. 50 Tereza Martincova 7-5, 7-5 in Prague.

That was although she jokingly said that preparation on the clay “was going well” before she burst out laughing ahead of her debut on the surface and even losing her toenails in practice.

Raducanu’s last tennis match on clay was at the French Open Juniors almost four years ago.

But the decisive victory raised the tie to 1-1 after Harriet Dart was beaten 6-1, 6-0 by Marketa Vondrousova in 55 minutes.

So things remain even when it comes to reverse singles on Saturday, with a potential doubles playoff if necessary, with Raducanu taking on Olympic silver medalist and former French Open finalist Vondrousova first.

The Czechs are the reigning champions but know they face a tricky task to get past the Brits and qualify for November’s finals.

Raducanu, world No. 12, said: “This one means so much to me.

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“Playing on clay definitely required some adjustments, even now.

“Conditions were very windy and there were some bad bounces so it was very difficult to adapt and adapt to the situation but I’m very proud of how I dug in.

“I was a bit flat at the start of the second set and everyone on my team told me the intensity had dropped.

“It’s difficult to regain that, but I’m very glad I did it in the end.”

Rads learned as she hit the clay, saving a set point after losing serve in the eighth game and winning the opener with three straight games.

She has shown a tendency to break down physically in the second sets of matches this season, losing 3-0, 4-1 in stormy conditions at the historic Cesky club, situated on an island in the Vltava River.

But Martincova clearly sensed the opportunity and Raducanu once again showed her fighting spirit to strike back, winning six of their last seven games.

This will certainly be a morale-boosting result for the Bromley ace – it’s only the third win she’s had this season and Martincova is the highest-ranked player she’s beaten since her semi-final win over Maria Sakkari at Flushing Meadow.

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5132930/emma-raducanu-dazzles-first-clay-match/ Emma Raducanu dazzles in first-ever pro clay court match

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