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Emma Raducanu kicked off her grass-court season with an encouraging 6-1, 6-4 victory over Ena Shibahara in the first round of the Rothesay Open.

However, her win in Nottingham wasn't without controversy as she openly criticized the Brazilian umpire Ana Carvalho for a series of questionable calls.

The tournament lacks a Hawk-Eye system, and Raducanu was visibly frustrated by several tight calls going against her.

“I felt like I was playing two opponents – it was crazy,” Raducanu remarked. “I would have used at least four challenges if they were available.

While these calls can go both ways, today they seemed to all go against me, making my win even more satisfying.

It’s tough without a challenge system, but it's something we all have to manage. Maybe it was meant to make the match more competitive.”

Raducanu's frustration peaked when the umpire overturned a line judge's out call for Shibahara's backhand volley in the third game—the sole game Shibahara won in the first set.

After disputing two earlier calls, Raducanu approached the chair to argue the decision, pointing out that Shibahara reacted as if the ball was out, but her complaints were dismissed.

The 21-year-old also expressed dissatisfaction with a critical line call in the ninth game of the second set, which she won 6-4.

Despite her frustrations, Raducanu refrained from endorsing British teammate Harriet Dart's call for universal electronic line technology at all tournaments.

“I feel Hawk-Eye has been a bit unreliable this year. There's something special about having line judges—it adds drama for spectators, though it can be incredibly frustrating for players.”

Despite her issues with officiating, Raducanu performed admirably on home turf, earning her first win at the Nottingham event after three attempts.

She looked comfortable and confident during her 70 minutes on the court, closing out the match despite a brief hiccup, and celebrated with a clench of the fist and a broad smile when Shibahara hit a forehand into the net.

This victory sets Raducanu up for a second-round match against Ukraine’s World No.

127, Daria Snigur, who defeated second seed Marta Kostyuk 6-3, 6-3.

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, the top seed, also had a strong start with a straight-sets win over Colombia’s Camila Osorio, the world No. 81.

In the men's Challenger event in Nottingham, Britain’s No. 1, Cam Norrie, triumphed 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 over Japan’s Sho Shimabukuro, emphasizing the value of these matches before Wimbledon.

“These matches are crucial before Wimby,” Norrie said. “I had to fight hard in that third set. The first match back on grass is always challenging.”

Dan Evans, the No. 2 seed, seeking his third tournament victory, narrowly beat Switzerland’s Dominic Stricker 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Evans will next face Wimbledon boys’ champion Henry Searle, 18, who advanced impressively with a straight-sets win over America’s Denis Kudla.

Andy Murray's Rough Start in Stuttgart

Andy Murray's preparations for what may be his final Wimbledon began on a sour note with a first-round loss at the Stuttgart Open.

The two-time Wimbledon champion lost 6-3, 6-4 to Marcos Giron. At 37, Murray hinted at retirement this summer and is facing potentially the last weeks of his illustrious career.

He will now shift focus to the Queen’s Club, where he hopes for a better performance than in Germany.

In the 999th singles match of his career, Murray struggled against the world No. 54, losing serve in the fifth game and never recovering, with a break in the third game of the second set sealing his fate.

 

British No. 2, Jack Draper, will meet Giron in the second round. PA Media.

 

Source: theguardian

The opinions shared in the GymNation blog articles are solely those of the respective authors and may not represent the perspectives of GymNation or any member of the GymNation team.