World No. 12 Emma Raducanu heaped praise on Czech teenager Linda Noskova folllowing their French Open meeting, calling her an extremely gifted player. 12th-seeded Raducanu had all but an easy job against 17-year-old Noskova as she needed three sets to edge out the Czech qualifier 6-7 (4) 7-5 6-1 in the French Open first round.
Both Raducanu and Noskova were making their French Open debuts on Monday but it was the 2021 US Open champion that ended up collecting first win at Roland Garros. Raducanu was down by a set and a break in the second set but recovered to beat Noskova in three sets.
"Noskova, she's pretty young, but she's definitely powerful," Raducanu said, per the WTA website. "She hits the ball extremely hard. I was finding as soon as I was dropping my ball short she was all over me.
"I just thought, 'You know, you've got to go out doing something.' So I started hitting the ball much better, I think, and keeping her off-balance. She was definitely hitting some great shots. Even on the run on her backhand wide she was hitting the line so well.
But I think I just found a better way."
Ajla Tomljanovic joins Emma Raducanu on the winners' circle
Raducanu survived a scare in the French Open first round but fifth-seeded Anett Kontaveit wasn't that lucky.
Kontaveit has been struggling with her game in 2022 and Tomljanovic took the advantage of that as she upset the Estonian 7-6 (5) 7-5. "These are the matches that I love to get up for," Tomljanovic said. "I think in my career I played a lot of top players first rounds in Slams and I always feel like I can win, but it never really matters until you really do it.
"I think this mostly does a lot for my confidence. When you really come out with a win, it's different than just putting up a good match. So that makes me happy."