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Emma Raducanu was knocked out of the Citi Open in straight sets by world No 60 Liudmilla Samsonova, going out with a whimper 7-6, 6-1.
The British teenager, who will defend her US Open crown in just 23 days, endured a torrid second set, in which her serves misfired and her groundstroke radar seemed to be miscalibrated.
It had been a long day already. The match was due to start at 5pm (10pm UK), but a three-hour rain delay and the tail end of an epic three-and-a-half hour thriller in which Britain’s Dan Evans lost to Yoshihito Nishioka, meant the players took to the court just before 11pm local time.
Put in to serve first, Raducanu faltered early on and was a break down from the off.
The crowd, featuring a cardboard cutout of the Queen, a handful of Union Jacks and the obligatory fan in an England football shirt, got behind the 19-year-old and she soon found her rhythm, managing to break Samsonova in the second game to love.
Raducanu was far more consistent, wary of Samsonova’s powerful forehand, but able to stay in the rallies long enough to force her opponent to hit it long, wide or into the net.
But Samsonova had a get-out-of-jail card - her serve rifling down at 115mph compared to Raducanu’s 95mph. The young Briton looked visibly shocked as her opponent fired down two aces to go 4-2 up in the first set.
But Raducanu hung in, dug deep, and dipped low behind the baseline to force errors. The first set went to a tie break, with little to separate between the two, and Raducanu seized the advantage, surging to a 5-2 lead as Samsonova hit a drop shot into the net. On serve she had the chance to take the first set, but errant forehands squandered the opportunity.
Suddenly, 5-2 became 6-6, which then became 8-6 to Samsonova.
The energy in the modest crowd of around 500 was drained. Next door on the main stadium court, Frances Tiafoe and Nick Kyrgios were serving up a classic. Music was blaring, people were dancing and Tiafoe was fist pumping those in the first row.
Spectators, including Raducanu’s mother Renee, left the John A Harris court and headed in that direction.
By the start of the second set it was quiet. Raducanu looked dejected. Samsonova found her groove and hit her marks.
Raducanu, who suffered terrible blisters in her last match, was blowing on her hand once again - though she did not appear to have any visible injuries.
The young Briton was too eager to feed Samsonova’s forehand and found herself 3-0 down early on in the second set. After a number of deuces, she managed to hold one service game, but quickly succumbed to Samsonova’s serve. The final three games went by in a blur. The look was of resignation rather than frustration.
Raducanu’s record in 2022 stands at 13 defeats and 10 victories. A quarter final in Washington on her first appearance is a solid effort, but it was a case of what could have been. The winner was due to face world No 96 Xiyu Wang in the semi-final. A final appearance would have given her much needed momentum.
Raducanu will now head north of the border, to compete in the Canadian Open starting on Monday. She will doubtless receive another warm welcome in the country of her birth.
But the clock for New York, and the US Open, is ticking. The coaching set up with Dmitry Tursunov working with her on a “temporary basis” is still puzzling.
She left the Citi Open without fielding questions from the press. There were plenty of questions to ask.
Raducanu loses in third round - as it happened
Raducanu's momentum halted again
It's coming up to 1am local time and ridiculous o'clock in the UK so kudos for staying up. Unfortunately that was some stinky stuff at the end for Emma Raducanu, who before tonight had started to show a bit of form in the US ahead of her defence at Flushing Meadows in a few weeks.
Tonight she was unable to punish the inconsistency of her opponent and was blown off the court at times, looking drained and adrift at the end of the second set.
She hit only one ace to Samsonova's nine and landed only 66 per cent of her first serves, hitting only eight winners.
Stay tuned for Jamie Johnson's match report - and thanks for joining us.
Emma Raducanu goes out with a whimper…defeated 7-6, 6-1 by Liudmila Samsonova in Washington DC.
23 days until the US Open. pic.twitter.com/S6FB9OWikc
— Jamie Johnson (@JamieoJohnson) August 6, 2022
Game, set and match: Samsonova wins 7-6 (8-6), 6-1
The Russian is serving for the match. How Raducanu must rue those four missed set points in the first set. The Russian races to 30-0 and it looks like bedtime for the Briton. An ace out wide brings up three match points. Whack! Another ace, and that's it. Samsonova wins. It only took her half an hour to win the second set and that is a very worrying collapse from Raducanu. The Briton grimaces as she walks off court.
Raducanu 6-7 (6-8), 1-5 Samsonova* (*denotes next server)
12.30am local time. Raducanu serving. She cuffs a sort of clumsy, blow-the-knee, cover drive into the bottom of the net, a very tired shot, and then barely chases as Samsonova forces her out wide on the next point. 0-30. The Russian then misses before Raducanu earns a very lucky clip off the net, the ball dropping cheekily into Samsonova's court. 40-30 on Raducanu's serve. Another double fault, Raducanu's sixth; it's been another showing of belligerent inconsistency. Deuce. And another. This is really grim stuff. Break point for Samsonova. And virtually match point. Oh, that's horrid. Raducanu rolls over a weak second serve and Samsonova sends back a fierce backhand to claim the double break.
Raducanu* 6-7 (6-8), 1-4 Samsonova (*denotes next server)
Samsonova cruises to 40-0 on her serve. Raducanu's timing has really deserted her. The Russian floats down a fairly regulation second serve and Raducanu swings at it abjectly, sending it halfway up the net. The Briton now trails 4-1 in this second set and looks like she's ready to go home.
Raducanu 6-7 (6-8), 1-3 Samsonova* (*denotes next server)
The crowd are behind Raducanu but she looks deflated, getting up very slowly after the changeover. She fights her way to 30-30 and Samsonova gifts her an error. Samsonova then flaps wildly at a wide forehand and Raducanu is on the scoreboard in the second set.
Raducanu* 6-7 (6-8), 0-3 Samsonova (*denotes next server)
It's Samsonova calling all the shots now. Raducanu is so far behind the baseline she's practically over the fence. Desperate defending is not enough – and Samsonova comes forward again to unleash a forehand, hitting through the ball with ferocity on game point. Big trouble for the Briton, at 3-0 down in the second set.
Raducanu 6-7 (6-8), 0-2 Samsonova* (*denotes next server)
Raducanu now has a bit of work to do. She finds a couple of good serves and she's up 40-15. She can only watch though as Samsonova lashes a forehand winner. That's 22 winners for the Russian and only 7 for Raducanu so far. Make that 23: the Russian runs around to another big forehand. Deuce on Raducanu's serve. Samsonova brings up another break point but skids at the back of the court and knocks her forehand into the net. Repreive for Raducanu. But then Samsonova smashes deep ad Raducanu can only push it back into the net. Break point again. Oh. Double fault. Absolute silence on the court and Raducanu is down a set and a break.
Raducanu* 6-7 (6-8), 0-1 Samsonova (*denotes next server)
Samsonova returns from the break with a spring in her step, hitting her fifth ace of the match. She dispatches another cross-court forehand and holds at the start of the second set.
Raducanu 6-7 (6-8), 0-0 Samsonova* (*denotes next server)
It's another tie break for Raducanu after winning her previous match with two of them. The Briton finds a nice spinning second serve out side that Samsonova can't keep in and takes the lead in the tie break.
1-0. A nice one-two punch from Samsonava next, dropping the pace on the first serve and then putting away the return.
1-1. Then she goes out wide to Raducanu's forehand with another slower first serve.
2-1. Raducanu finds a good first serve.
2-2. Then Samsonova can only chip a return into the net.
3-2 to Raducanu on serve. It's about to be midnight local time. Woof. A lovely jumping forehand winner from Raducanu gives her a mini-break.
4-2. Samsonova then folds a drop shot into the net and Raducanu is two points away.
5-2. An error from Raducanu before a steaming forehand from Samsonova brings us back on serve.
5-4. Double fault No 7 from Samsonova brings up two set points for Raducanu.
6-4. Samsonova saves another set point, the third in this set but now Raducanu will serve.
6-5. The Briton is a little passive, sending over a dud of a serve and Samsonova is immediately on top before hitting a forehand winner. Samsonova claws it back to
6-6. My word, we're going to be here all year. Raducanu bravely tries to cover the court but Samsonova steps inside and whacks a forehand into the corner. Set point to the Russian.
7-6. Boom! An ace right down the T silences the crowd. Raducanu is a set down.
Raducanu* 6-6 Samsonova (*denotes next server)
Raducanu unleashes a monster forehand return into the corner on the first point to set the tone for this game. She clenches her fist. Another double fault for Samsonova and it's another free point for the Briton. 15-30. Raducanu finds depth from the baseline and Samsonova can only fire a low ball into the net. Two break points for Raducanu. Samsonova fires long and we're into a tie break.
Raducanu 5-6 Samsonova* (*denotes next server)
Samsonova finds the corner again with another backhand and the pressure is on the Raducanu serve at 30-30. The Briton staggers in a baseline exchange and suddenly, from 30-0, she is offering Samsonova a break point. Then Raducanu sends a backhand well wide, into the tramlines, and the Russian breaks. She will serve for the first set.
Raducanu* 5-5 Samsonova (*denotes next server)
Samsonova must hold to stay in the first set. Raducanu is trying to get herself going a bit on the baseline with some jumps. She lifts up an inviting ball for Samsonova to step forward onto and send to its doom. But then the Russian coughs up another double fault, her fourth today. Now Raducanu finds her backhand, a pacey flat hit down the line. Deuce. Another double fault. Horrid. Set point for Raducanu. Second serve for Samsonova... Oof. She thunders a forehand that looks long – no Hawk-Eye challenges here – before another strong forehand out wide to save the set point.
Now an error on the Russian's backhand and Raducanu has another set point. Samsonova saves it with an ace. She sends Raducanu tipping forward on the next point and after 55 minutes were are 5-5.
Raducanu 5-4 Samsonova* (*denotes next server)
Raducanu kicks herself after missing a makeable passing shot. There's a howl from the nearby court where Tiafoe and Kyrgios are entertaining the crowd.
Raducanu then sprints forward to a dreadful drop shot from Samsonova that hangs about, sitting up, waiting to be punished. 40-15 for the Briton. Samsonova puts the squeeze on her second serve and the Briton plunges a backhand into the net. Then the Russian takes an inside-out forehand early for a big winner. Deuce.
We're up to a combined 31 unforced errors between these two now. Raducanu then escapes after presenting Samsonova with a simple forehand winner that she slaps into the net.
As if to prove the point about inconsistency, the Russian then rips a very difficult forehand winner before Raducanu misses to surrender another break point. A huge first serve helps her claw one back and then Samsonova sends a forehand wide and we're back to deuce.
The Russian is starting to climb into Raducanu's second serve but another error lets the Briton escape. Raducanu finds a big first serve and Samsonova hits the return long, putting the world No 10 back in the lead.
Raducanu* 4-4 Samsonova (*denotes next server)
We're now past 11.20pm local time.
Samsonova has found some penetration on her second serve and she steps into the court to wallop a return for a winner. But she follows that with another double fault and Raducanu has another chance at 15-30. Fantastic defensive play next from the Briton, clinging on for another error from the Russian. Two break points. And woof! Raducanu hits a service return down the line for a clean winner. She roars and we're back on serve.
Raducanu 3-4 Samsonova* (*denotes next server)
Lovely cutout of Her Majesty in the stands. Looking resplendent in shades of purple and cardboard.
Raducanu races to 40-15 but Samsonova is starting to find her range, hitting her eighth winner of the set with a fizzing cross-court backhand. The Briton, though, hits a lovely forehand winner down the line to hold.
Raducanu* 2-4 Samsonova (*denotes next server)
A second double fault of the match for Samsonova and Raducanu has a window at 15-30. But the Russian saves herself with a couple of big serves and consolidates her break.
Raducanu exploiting Samsonova's errors
Jamie Johnson reports: Halfway through the first set what have we learnt?
Samsonova has a big serve and it’s getting her out of trouble. The Russian is firing the ball down at 115mph compared to 95mph for Raducanu.
Samsonova’s forehand is errant however, and the longer Raducanu stays in the rally, the more likely it feels that her opponent will put one long, wide or in the net.
Raducanu’s service game has been mixed. Some she took easily but now she’s been broken in the fifth and she’s on the back foot.
Raducanu 2-3 Samsonova* (*denotes next server)
Not much in the way of timing from Samsonova so far. 13 unforced errors already from the Russian. But she's a dangerous player with that power. She scoops out a smooth backhand down the line for a winner and then a punchy forehand brings up another break point. Raducanu nets the backhand and the Briton is down a break again in this first set.
Raducanu* 2-2 Samsonova (*denotes next server)
A nice couple of punches from Samsonova, forcing Raducanu to scuttle back and dig out a defensive lob before smashing a forehand into the corner. 30-15 to the Russian.
But controlled, aggressive hitting from Raducanu outlasts her opponent from the baseline and more errors from Samsonova gift Raducanu another break point. The Russian saves it with a powerful forehand out wide before a ripping top-spin forehand winner that catches the baseline. Back to deuce.
Raducanu finds the net and a big serve from the Russian sends Raducanu sprinting back for a lob that she can only drop into the net. Samsonova escapes.
Raducanu 2-1 Samsonova* (*denotes next server)
Neither player has had much of a first serve to speak of yet but Raducanu finds a lovely second serve, a body serve that folds up Samsonova like a crusty old beach towel. The Russian can only knock the return long and follows it with another poor error, hitting a simple forehand wide. She stretches into a backhand down the line but skews it long and Raducanu holds.
Raducanu* 1-1 Samsonova (*denotes next server)
Well. Raducanu suffocates her opponent with a powerful return to bring up 0-40 on the Russian's serve. She climbs into the second serve and then loosens those shoulders, walloping a fine inside-out backhand that Samsonova can only return long. Raducanu breaks back and we're back on serve.
Raducanu 0-1 Samsonova* (*denotes next server)
Samsonova shows some impressive footwork behind the baseline. Raducanu thunders a rangefinder backhand down the line but a floaty second serve on the next point allows Samsonova to step in and hit a cross-court forehand winner. Break point to the Russian... who then hooks a lovely forehand down the line and squirts into an early lead.
Raducanu* 0-0 Samsonova (*denotes next server)
Right, here we go. Raducanu to serve first...
First meeting for these two
Raducanu showed a remarkable ability during her US Open run to work out and pull apart her opponents on the hoof, and she faces another unknown today.
The Briton and Samsonova have never played each other and there is an air of cordiality about this knock-up.
The players are out
We have a net! We have a dry surface! All the pieces are falling beautifully into place.
The players finally come out, with Raducanu receiving a very warm reception from the patient fans.
Farcical scenes on the court
Jamie Johnson reports: Remarkably, during the break between matches, they are trying to change the net. It’s 10.30pm here and the court staff have had a long day…
The nets have to be swapped because they have logos on them: the men’s matches are sponsored by Emirates and the women by Hologic - a medical technology company focused on women’s health.
Raducanu and Samsonova were expecting to be on court five-and-a-half hours ago…
Another delay... because there's no net
Believe it or not, there's another delay now. And it's because we don't have a net. The organisers need to swap over the nets because the men's and women's rounds have different sponsors.
There's a little round of applause – a sardonic ripple – when a chap in a blue t-shirt comes scuttling across with what looks like a rolled-up net. Stay tuned.
Raducanu is on her way
So, after a gigantic rain delay and an even more gigantic men's quarter-final that has run past 10pm local time, we are finally about to see Emma Raducanu.
The world No 10 battled through blisters in her second-round win on Thursday – and anyone who has ever walked for any amount of time whatsoever in new school shoes knows that blisters don't go quietly. So Raducanu may have a tough time tonight against Samsonova, the world No 60. The Briton is eager to build up momentum ahead of her US Open defence that begins in New York at the end of this month.
Nishioka collapses to the floor like he's just won the French Open. The Japanese wins 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 after more than three and a half hours. An irate Evans is yelping at himself as he heads off court.
Crowd right behind Nishioka
Jamie Johnson reports: Three hours and 30 minutes in, we could be at the deciding game.
Nishioka is 6-5 up in the third set. Evans on serve, looking into those pesky floodlights.
The crowd is right behind the Japanese underdog.
Elsewhere, Andrey Rublev has dispatched American JJ Wolf in double quick time 6-2, 6-3.
Nishioka raises his energy to leave Evans on the brink
5-5, 30-30. This is a monster. Nishioka is geeing up the crowd. Evans looks like he might be about to throw up.
Nishioka launches a ripping lefty forehand deep into the corner that Evans can only damply parry back. The Japanese finds a big first serve and then whacks a stunning backhand passing shot down the line. He screams with delight and bounds to his chair.
6-5 to Nishioka in the final set and Evans has it all to do.
Jamie Johnson reports: Lots of shouting from Nishioka. It’s his to lose now.
Elsewhere, Victoria Azarenka has gone down 6-1, 6-3 to Xiyu Wang in the women’s quarter final. That’s a real upset, but Azarenka was troubled by injury, it seems.
The winner of Raducanu v Samsonova will play world No 95 Wang in the semi final. That’ll be a huge motivation.
...but Nishioka breaks back
Evans swings his racket in frustration as he immediately surrenders the initiative to Nishioka. 4-4 in the third set. In the next game, Evans shanks an abysmal volley into the very bottom of the net and Nishioka rushes to 30-0. He sends a tired backhand wide and suddenly the world No 96 is closing out the game. Evans is one game from defeat.
The British No 2 roars as he gets himself to 0-30 on Nishioka's serve. He sends a forehand long before a pair of errors from the Japanese give Evans a 4-3 lead in the final set. He wobbles back to his chair and pops a bag of ice on his head.
Three hours and counting
Jamie Johnson reports: Evans sneaks the sixth game to tie it up at 3-3 in the third set.
His serve still isn’t firing properly though. After sending one flying half way down the net, he tells the ball boy: “Leave it, leave it, I’d never make you pick that up.”
Two points later, it’s his racket that goes flying, as he throws it to the floor in frustration.
They’ve been playing for more than three hours now. Plus the extended rain delay.
Evans finding it hard going
Jamie Johnson reports: All square in the deciding set at 2 games each.
Evans has hit three of his first serves long and is complaining that the floodlights from the main stadium are making it difficult to find the ball in the toss.
Jamie Johnson reports: Mercifully, it was just a light sprinkling and the players are back out. The delay has upset Evans’ rhythm and he slumps to 0-40.
Nishioka, looking for what would be a big break in the deciding set, steps in to a crushing forehand and Evans can only repel the ball wide. Advantage Nishioka in the final set.
Jamie Johnson reports: It has started raining ever so slightly in Washington, but that’s enough to see the match halted.
On a hard court the surface becomes slippy very quickly so the umpire has stopped proceedings in the interest of safety.
Evans is 1-0 down and 15-0 down on serve in the second game of the third set.
A few of the $5 ponchos are coming out, but this isn’t expected to be a long delay.
Evans looks like he is receiving some treatment on his hands from the trainer.
Evans takes second set
Jamie Johnson reports: Evans takes the second set 6-4 with a blistering cross-court forehand which flew past an approaching Nishioka so fast that he had to duck out of the way.
It was a very impressive set from the British No 2, who won 85 per cent of points on his first serve.
A third set will decide this quarter final.
Evans ahead in second set
Jamie Johnson reports: Looking to make amends, Dan Evans is 4-1 up in the second set, having broken Nishioka twice.
The Briton is on serve and the crowd is filling up for what will likely be a deciding set.
Stay up for the headliner
So, while Dan Evans presumably chomps angrily on bit of banana, a reminder that following this match is tonight's headliner: Emma Raducanu and the Blisters. Which I am 100 per cent calling as a band name. That's mine, you can't have it. It's also a little homage, as we're in Washington, to the iconic DC punk scene. Let's hope that Raducanu's opponent Liudmila Samsonova has Bad Brains and is only a Minor Threat to the US Open champion.
Evans will have to do it the hard way
Jamie Johnson reports: Nishioka takes the tie break 7-5 and let’s out a mighty roar. The Briton is shaking his head in frustration, knowing he should have finished the job much earlier.
Evans into first-set tie break
Jamie Johnson reports: Evans raced to a 40-15 lead in the first game after the restart but was brought back to deuce after he found the net at the end of a 20+ shot rally.
He took advantage but not the game as Nishioka whipped a backhand across court and out of his reach.
With two quick aces Nishioka took the game and there’s now a tie break in the first set. 6-6.
Dan Evans back on court
Jamie Johnson reports: Dan Evans is back on court with a crucial game against Yoshihito Nishioka - who is on serve - coming up.
The temperature has dropped but it’s still 23C in Washington, and fans are trickling in for what looks set to be a long evening session.
Ponchos were free in my day
Organisers in DC are rushing to offer assistance to wet patrons - including charging them $5 for a poncho. Which seems a bit naughty.
— Citi Open (@CitiOpen) August 5, 2022
Play to resume
Good news and bad news. The good news is that play is set to resume very shortly, which means Emma Raducanu could be on court quite soon.
Courts are currently being dried.
Matches to resume shortly.#CitiOpen
— Citi Open (@CitiOpen) August 5, 2022
The bad news is that the deluge has washed away Rob Bagchi and left you instead with me, Josh White, to take over live blog duties tonight, the equivalent of a sort of muddy, slushy post-rain residue.
Officials are out checking the courts and we are minutes away from play restarting.
Daria Saville and Rebecca Marino are on court inside the main stadium. Saville, who is Australian, is 6-1, 3-0 up.
Dan Evans meanwhile is waiting to get back out to the John A Harris stadium, where he is 6-5 up in the first against Yoshihito Nishioka. At the conclusion of that match, it’ll be Emma Raducanu vs Ludmila Samsonova.
The Lord Giveth
Rain is back 🌧
No play before 7:15 pm. Stay tuned for updates.#CitiOpen
— Citi Open (@CitiOpen) August 5, 2022
Jamie Johnson reports:
A note from the organisers: Courts are being dried. Matches to resume shortly.
Dan Evans resumes 6-5 ahead in the first set against Yoshihito Nishioka in their three-set quarter-final. Emma Raducanu vs Liudmila Samsonova will follow the completion of that match. Josh White will be here to helm our coverage whenever that match begins.
Long day's journey into night ahead
Jamie Johnson reports from Washington DC
The rain is easing off in Washington, where it’s still 23 degrees. Staff are hard at work with rollers on the courts, mopping up the surface water.
There’s still a lot of tennis to come this evening, with Dan Evans, Emma Raducanu and Nick Kyrgios all expected out on court if the weather holds.
Organisers are prepared to push as late as possible this evening to get the matches completed.
Good news - the storm has passed
They’ve got the heavy rollers out…
Things looking up in Washington DC.
The rain has eased off and they’re drying the courts. Organisers keen to push on and play into the night.
Dan Evans still to finish his match, Raducanu up after, and Kyrgios due back on court later. pic.twitter.com/CsB5VGfMMC
— Jamie Johnson (@JamieoJohnson) August 5, 2022
A further update from the organisers
It's still raining and there is no chance of play before 11.30pm UK time. But if she does get on tonight, we will cover it. Might not be me ... but global team Telegraph will be blogging the match from the other side of the pond.
I’m at the Citi Open tennis in Washington where it’s pouring with rain.
Britain’s Emma Raducanu is due on court after Dan Evans (who is 6-5 up in the first set).
The bad news is that there’s a flash flood warning in the area and lightning still flashing overhead.
Play delayed. pic.twitter.com/aej7MSFpdC
— Jamie Johnson (@JamieoJohnson) August 5, 2022
But fear not - the Telegraph has a reporter on the ground
Jamie Johnson reports from Washington DC
More bad news from Washington DC where play will not resume before 6pm local time. That's 11pm in the UK. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning in the area.
The player's lounge is opposite the media centre, so I can happily report that after taking photographs of the lightning, Raducanu retired inside for a hot beverage.
A further announcement
No play before 11pm BST. Hard to see what conditions are like because this is what happens when it rains on Amazon, who don't have reporters and a normal studio/presenter set-up but just have the matches, as it closes the live feed and treats us to this:
It's still raining
At William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center and there will be no play until 10.30pm BST at the earliest. With Nick Evans' match still to be finished before Raducanu vs Samsonova can start, we might be in for a long evening.
Jamie Johnson reports from Washington DC:
A message has just come through from tournament organisers saying there will be no play before 5:30pm local time (10:30pm UK).
Raducanu has her shoes off, feet up and is on Facetime. She tells the Telegraph she's hoping to get on court this evening.
There might be quite a delay
Jamie Johnson reports from Washington
Dan Evans was winning the first set of his Citi Open quarter final against Yoshihito Nishioka 6-5 … and then the storm came.
Play has now been suspended in Washington DC, where it is still 32 degrees, but with dark clouds overhead.
Emma Raducanu is in the player’s lounge chatting with members of her team, but it’s not looking likely that she’ll be on court soon. The heavens have just opened.
It was after take 18 of Helter Skelter that Ringo Starr uttered his famous cry: "I've got blisters on my fingers." It is not recorded how the Beatle overcame this distressing affliction for all manual workers – surgical spirit? Friar's Balsam? Elastoplast? A potion of Calamine lotion? Meths? There are myriad 'cures' for the complaint that may prove useful to Emma Raducanu who grittily came through her second round match against Camila Osorio last night, taking 165 minutes to win 7-6, 7-6, with a palm blain that was straight out of the Exorcist. A cornucopia of treatments ancient and modern but will any work in time?
Tonight, she faces the Russian world No28 Liudmila Samsonova who, had she retained her Italian citizenship, would have been allowed to play at Wimbledon this year, instead of being banned, where she made the fourth round in 2021 as a wildcard, just like Raducanu. She has a formidable serve and is content to stick to the baseline to wear her opponents down with powerful groundstrokes. Ordinarily Raducanu would try to manoeuvre her from side to side before unrolling one of those ... ahem ... blistering backhand winners but we just don't know if she will be physically capable of going deep in points, games and sets.
Having said that, she says she takes comfort for surviving yesterday's ordeal with her sore hand in sweltering heat. "For me it was a pretty monumental effort to really get through that," Raducanu said on Thursday.
"There were many moments in both sets where you want to go for the easy option of trying to finish the point early, but, yeah, I'm just really pleased and proud of how I dug in when it really mattered.
"It was three hours on the court, and I actually warmed up for like an hour this morning. It just gives you a lot of confidence coming through a match like that."