Nottingham Open: Emma Raducanu fights it out with the Umpire after grass-court victory due to

Emma Raducanu hits out at ‘insane’ officiating after grass-court victory

Emma Raducanu launched her grass-court season with a reassuring 6-1. 6-4 win over Ena Shibahara in the opening round of the Rothesay Open – and a stinging jab at the Brazilian umpire Ana ­Carvalho. Her straight-sets triumph over the ­Japanese ­qualifier in ­Nottingham was followed by a strong attack on the caliber of the officiating.

There is no Hawk-Eye system in action at the competition and Raducanu was visibly displeased after a series of tight calls went against her. “I feel like I was playing two v one on court – it was insane,” remarked Raducanu. “I would have used probably at least four challenges [if we’d had them].

“I think a lot of the time they go both ways. Today I felt they were all against me but it simply makes me feel better because I managed to beat her and the umpire as well. that is difficult when there is no challenge yet that is something everyone has to deal with. Maybe it was just attempting to make the battle more competitive.

“It’s something I had to deal with and overcome. I am extremely delighted with the mindset I came out with from the get-go and also having to deal with the difficulties too.”

Raducanu’s irritation crested when the umpire reversed a line judge’s out ruling for a backhand ­volley from Shibahara in the third game – the only one the former world No 10, presently down at 279 in the rankings after her injury troubles – won in the first set.

Having already ­queried the two previous calls by that moment, Raducanu marched up to the chair and remonstrated with the official over the decision. “She ­[Shibahara] reacted like it was out,” remarked ­Raducanu to no avail.

The 21-year-old was also dissatisfied with a “really bad” line call in the ninth game of a second set that she took 6-4. Despite her displeasure she stopped short of backing the request from British teammate Harriet Dart for blanket electronic line technology at all competitions.

“I feel this year Hawk-Eye has been a little bit off – I don’t know why,” remarked Raducanu. “I think there is a beauty in having all the linesmen and it does add to the drama for the spectators. For us it might be the most annoying thing ever.”

Regardless , Raducanu competed well on home soil in front of a ­enthusiastically supportive crowd in her first match on grass for almost two years.

She appeared physically at ease in her 70 minutes on court, taking up her first victory at the Nottingham event at the third time of asking.

Raducanu experienced a minor ­stutter closing out the match but as ­Shibahara struck a forehand into the net to end the contest there was a grip of the fist and a huge grin.

It sets the wildcard up for a Thursday ­second-round ­meeting on Thursday with Ukraine’s World No 127, Daria Snigur, who overcame the second seed, Marta Kostyuk, 6-3, 6-3.

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, the No 1 seed, started out with a straightforward straight-sets win over Colombia’s Camila Osorio, the world No 81.

Britain’s men’s No 1, Cam Norrie, got through 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 against Japan’s Sho Shimabukuro in the opening round of the men’s Challenger event in Nottingham. “These matches are invaluable before Wimby,” said ­Norrie. “I had to scrap in that third set. Always that first match back on turf is not easy.”

The No 2 seed, Dan Evans, ­chasing a third victory in the competition, edged out Switzerland’s Dominic Stricker 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

On Wednesday Evans will face the Wimbledon boys’ champion Henry Searle, 18, who fought his way through qualification to reach the first round and moved impressively with a straight-sets victory against America’s Denis Kudla, the runner-up in the competition three years ago.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *