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Emma Raducanu wins first match since US Open victory by defeating world No. 124 Polona Hercog

Emma Raducanu claims her first win since winning the US Open last month by beating world No. 124 Polona Hercog at the Transylvania Open … after the British No. 1 freaked out losing the first set

  • Emma Raducanu finally won her first tennis match since her victory at the US Open
  • British No. 1 defeated World No. 124 Polona Hercog at the Transylvania Open
  • Raducanu threw the first set 6-4 after losing five games in a row
  • But the 18-year-old responded to claim a 4-6 7-5 6-1 win at Cluj-Napoca.
  • Raducanu had to wait six weeks for his first win since his heroics in New York.

Emma Raducanu began filling in the gaps in her tennis education Tuesday night when she overcame a tough start at the Transylvania Open.

Before enchanting an almost empty stadium speaking in Romanian, she defeated the experienced Slovenian Polona Hercog 4-6 7-5 6-1 to make the second round, in which she will face Ana Bogdan. “It means a lot to play in my dad’s country,” he said after completing a victory in two hours and 28 minutes.

This was an ideal contest for her, and incredibly the first time she has won a match on tour at this level.

Emma Raducanu won her first match since her US Open triumph at the Transylvania Open

Emma Raducanu won her first match since her US Open triumph at the Transylvania Open

The British No. 1 beat stubborn Slovenian Polona Hercog (above) who took the first set in Cluj

The British No. 1 beat stubborn Slovenian Polona Hercog (above) who took the first set in Cluj

The British No. 1 beat stubborn Slovenian Polona Hercog (above) who took the first set in Cluj

Raducanu got off to a promising start before the largely deserted stands imposed on this event by new regulations from the Romanian government.

She swept to a 4-1 lead after earning a sixth break point in a second marathon game of the match.

It wasn’t long before the highly motivated Hercog showed why she was once ranked 35th in the world, eliminating mistakes and taking advantage of her opponent’s dwindling confidence level on serve.

Raducanu struggled from the beginning and threw the first set by losing five games in a row.

Raducanu struggled from the beginning and threw the first set by losing five games in a row.

Raducanu struggled from the beginning and threw the first set by losing five games in a row.

Raducanu’s forehand was also becoming shaky and occasionally brash, and at 4-4, she drew a very wide to seal that broke in love.

Holding her ground early in the second, the US Open champion forced three break points at 2-1 against the energetic Slovenian. As with Aliaksandra Sasnovich in Indian Wells, he was playing well above his 124 rating, but that’s to be expected with Raducanu with his new goal.

There was certainly nothing season-ending about the determined Hercog, who hadn’t beaten a top 100 player since Roland Garros.

But the 18-year-old made an astonishing recovery to advance to the second round later this week.

But the 18-year-old made an astonishing recovery to advance to the second round later this week.

But the 18-year-old made an astonishing recovery to advance to the second round later this week.

Raducanu appeared to be in deep trouble when he faced a break point at 4-4, but played his way out of trouble with the help of an ace. There were more problems at 5-5 and another break point, but he survived with a low backhand and skidding.

She created a first set point in the next game, but was only able to send her return of serve backhand for long. A double fault provided another, but he couldn’t handle Hercog’s driving angle. In the third, his opponent agreed by sending the long ball.

That seemed to deflate the Slovenian and cheer on Raducanu, who went ahead to 3-0 in the decider and held comfortably from there to claim her fourth match point.

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