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Emma Raducanu ‘mentally and emotionally exhausted’ after Madrid Open 2024 defeat to qualifier

Emma Raducanu called tennis “brutal” and said she was “mentally and emotionally exhausted” after losing 6-2 6-2 to Argentine qualifier Maria Lourdes Carle in the first round of the Madrid Open.

The result was Carle’s 10th consecutive win but the 24-year-old’s first in a WTA 1000 main draw, with Raducanu partly putting the setback down to clay.

“She has a lot more knowledge and experience on this surface,” said the 2021 US Open champion.

“She played a great match and I definitely didn’t. I would say the last few weeks have been a lot.”

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Raducanu’s comeback from an injury-strewn 2023 has included a role in Britain’s win over France in the Billie Jean King Cup and her first quarter-final in 19 months at the Stuttgart Open last week.

“I haven’t stopped,” she said. “And then straight to Stuttgart with no rest and then straight here.

“I had to try to adapt to the conditions, which are very different because it’s outdoors and I was playing indoors for the last month.”

Emma Raducanu results: French Open next?

The 21-year-old is set to make the second French Open appearance of her career when the second grand slam of the year starts on May 26.

Aside from her US Open triumph and a run to the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2021, Raducanu has never won more than one match in the main draw at a major.

She is ranked 221st in the world and lost to an opponent 139 places above her in Madrid.

“From the performance today, it was very clear that, mentally and emotionally, I was exhausted,” said Raducanu.

“I was trying to push through and I was just unable to push through today. I guess the sport is just pretty brutal.”

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