Madrid: Emma Raducanu gets destroyed by lucky loser, Naomi Osaka impresses in opener

Raducanu had a dreadful day in Madrid while Osaka made a great start.

by Dzevad Mesic
Madrid: Emma Raducanu gets destroyed by lucky loser, Naomi Osaka impresses in opener
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Emma Raducanu has been destroyed by Argentian lucky loser Maria Lourdes Carle in her Madrid Open opener, while Naomi Osaka made a brilliant start to her campaign at Caja Magica. 

After former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova withdrew from Madrid, on paper Raducanu had a much more favorable matchup against lucky loser Carle. But Raducanu stunningly never stood chance against Carle, who ousted the 2021 US Open champion 6-2 6-2. 

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Meanwhile, four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka had a much better day at the office, crushing Greetje Minnen 6-4 6-1. For Osaka, this was her first Madrid match since 2022. 

How Carle crushed Raducanu?

Raducanu got off to a very slow start to the match, suffering back-to-back breaks in the first and third games while also failing to convert a break point in the second game.

In the fourth game, Raducanu managed to get one break back and finally get on the board but it didn't change much as Carle broke the Briton again in the following game for a 4-1 lead before serving out for the opener in the eighth game.

The start of the second set didn't bring anything better to Raducanu - she dropped her serve in the first game of the set. Down by a set and a break, Raducanu managed to get the break back in the second game but then lost her serve again in back-to-back breaks as Carle went on to open a 5-1 second-set lead. 

Maria Lourdes Carle
Maria Lourdes Carle © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

In the seventh game, Raducanu managed to finally serve out one of her service games and end Carle's five-game run. 

Early in the match, Osaka started putting pressure on Minnen but the Belgian resisted and managed to save two two break points in the fourth game and another break point in the sixth game. But serving for the match in the eighth game, Carle stayed calm and realized her first match point to complete her big win over Raducanu. 

How Osaka ousted Minnen?

After missing out on break points in two games, Osaka finally got her first break of the match at the best possible time, breaking Minnen in the 10th game - the game in which the Belgian lucky loser was serving to stay in the first set.

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

After winning the last five games of the opening set, Osaka also made a lighting start to the second set as the Japanese claimed back-to-back breaks for a very comfortable 5-0 lead. In the sixth game, Minnen managed to end Osaka's run of seven consecutive games won but it didn't change much as the former world No. 1 routinely served out for the match in the seventh game.

Emma Raducanu Naomi Osaka