Emma Raducanu’s conqueror delivers verdict on Brit getting majority of French Open support

Emma Raducanu announces split from coach after five months

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Defeating Emma Raducanu in the second round of the French Open presented a huge task for Aliaksandra Sasnovich, not least because the crowd threw their weight behind the Brit. Nonetheless, she came from behind to defeat the reigning U.S. Open champion 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 on Wednesday.

The victory means Sasnovich, 28, will feature in the third round at Roland Garros for the first time in her career. There, she’ll take on three-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber, who is hoping to complete her collection of tennis majors with a title triumph in France.

That matchup doesn’t bode well for the unseeded star’s hopes of getting the Parisian public on side, having felt the crowd root for Raducanu throughout their match. But the Belarusian was understanding in regards to why her British foe attracted more favour among fans.

“I hope they will support me next time,” said Sasnovich. “But yeah, because I heard that for Emma, there was more support. Yeah, because obviously she is a Grand Slam champion. Yes, she’s a great player.”

Emma Raducanu fears she has ‘target on her back’ after French Open loss

Raducanu, 19, came from a set down herself to best Linda Noskova in her French Open debut earlier this week. But Sasnovich—who will reach the fourth round of a major for just the second time in 28 attempts if she defeats Kerber—ultimately proved too testing.

The Minsk native was even more surprised to venture this far in Paris after her 2022 preparations were stunted by Covid-19. Athletes from Russia and Belarus have all the more motivation to impress now given they’re currently set to be banned from competing at Wimbledon.

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“Honestly, I had Covid [a] few months ago,” added Sasnovich in her post-match interview. “So I didn’t prepare well for the crazy season, I didnt expect things to go easy, but yeah, I’m happy.”

Raducanu’s maiden French Open may have ended in underwhelming circumstances, but the youngster can afford to hold her head high following her clay season debut. The more experienced Sasnovich will attempt to use that win as inspiration to advance further in France, meanwhile, and hopefully with more of the spotlight shining on her, rather than the opposition.

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