Emma Raducanu suffered blister problems which left the skin “ripping off” her injured hand, causing fresh concern just weeks before her US Open defence.
In furnace-like conditions in Washington and on an eerily quiet court, Raducanu was subjected to the ultimate endurance test in a dogged, second-round win over Camila Osorio at the Citi Open.
The 7-6, 7-6 win set up a quarter-final against Liudmila Samsonova today and the question is how Raducanu will be able to recover from her callouses, described as “pretty ugly” by on court interviewer Rennae Stubbs after the match.
Witnessed by only a sparse crowd in the US capital, temperatures peaked at 35 degrees with many spectators sheltering under umbrellas and towels because of the fierce heat.
In a measure of her resilience, Raducanu was twice pushed to a final set-tie break. Twice she pulled through to close out a victory in this marathon match, which descended into a battle of the blisters in the suffocating heat. After two hours and 50 minutes on court, an exhausted Raducanu admitted she “died about three times.”
“It actually came out of nowhere to be honest,” Raducanu said of her calloused hands. “At the beginning of the match it was alright, it was just the normal callouses, but then throughout the match my skin was just ripping off. At the beginning it was just a flap but the flap got ripped off and it was pretty raw and open.” Worryingly, she also revealed she was battling blisters on her feet.
Osario’s movement was derailed by a blister on her foot, while Raducanu’s sores on her racket hand played a part in her tired service game late on as she eventually closed out the 7-6, 7-6 win.
It could have so easily swung the other way, but the Briton, whose second-round exit at this year’s Australian Open was also hampered by a hand blister, dug deep to claim a memorable victory and progress to the quarter-finals, where she will face Liudmila Samsonova.
It seemed strange that not even tennis’ golden girl, nearly a year on from being catapulted into the history books, could pull in a full-house for her DC dress rehearsal ahead of the highly anticipated defence of her US Open crown later this month.
Perhaps it was synonymous with the mixed fortunes that the 19-year-old has endured since her momentous Flushing Meadows success last year. Raducanu has struggled to string any real consistency together in 2022, having registered a 10-12 win-loss ratio, and that theme played out in this enthralling tussle against world no. 67 Osario.
Raducanu appeared very much in control before her game spectacularly unravelled as Osario grew into the match and the pair became locked in an engrossing battle.
The US Open champion flew out of the blocks before Osorio had time to settle into a rhythm, but the South American rose above the heat and humidity against the run of play to claw her way back. The 20-year-old, who is something of a rising star on the Colombian tennis scene, bided her time at 4-2 down to eventually break Raducanu at the fourth time of asking.
Osario then went on to win a dizzying game on serve and capitalised on the momentum shift. It was certainly a test of character for Raducanu. Having started the match so serenely, she was completely thrown off balance by her opponent’s sudden resurgence. Was it the heat? Or was she frustrated by the fact there was simply no energy to harness from a non-existent crowd?
There was a palpable sense that, in a huge month when Raducanu will look to defend the 2040 WTA ranking points she collected from her historic win in New York last year, this was suddenly a huge match. That much might have been sensed by Dmitry Tursunov, the Russian coach that Raducanu is trialling, who was part of the handful of people speckled around the court.
She did, however, have enough in the tank to string some consistency together and close out a gusty final set tiebreak. Yet it did little to galvanise her, and she was forced to weather storm after storm in the second set.
Yet unlike Osario, Raducanu kept her cool in crucial moments, and got the better of the South American in the second final-set tiebreak and let out an exhausted scream after extracting an error from her opponent at 6-6. These are the ego-boosting wins that Raducanu will thrive off as the pressure is cranked up on her young shoulders later this month.
Earlier this week, after admitting she was no “wizard” in her opening-round victory over Louisa Chirico, she was asked by reporters what Hogwarts house she would be in. “I'd be in Slytherin, for sure,” replied Raducanu promptly. “They have got a, just mysterious sort of side to them, and I like that.”
It sounds strikingly similar to the Raducanu who rocked up to this topsy-turvy battle. One moment cruising, the next, her game peppered with mistakes. Essentially, a bit of an unknown quantity.
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Join us again tomorrow for Raducanu's quarter-final match. But for now, relive the match below.
Relief for Raducanu
Raducanu will be delighted to come through this match given her physical issues at the end there.
She will play Liudmila Samsonova in the quarter-finals tomorrow. But what shape will her right hand be in?
She admitted after the match that the calluses were very raw.
Raducanu 7-6, 7-6 Osorio - TIEBREAK
Osorio forehand winner, 4-3. Osorio forehand long, 5-3. Raducanu goes for it with a forehand return but misses, 5-4. Incredible defence by Raducanu to stay in the point and she earns the error from Osorio, 6-4. Osorio return wide, 7-4. GAME SET MATCH RADUCANU!
Raducanu 7-6, 6-6 Osorio - TIEBREAK
Osorio's forehand clips the top of the net and the ball drops wide, 1-0. Great speed by Raducanu and she finishes with a volley winner, 2-0. Osorio overhead winner, 2-1. Raducanu slices a forehand into the net after an Osorio drop shot, 2-2. Big Raducanu forehand and Osorio nets, 3-2. Exception point construction by Raducanu, she digs deep and Osorio misses with a backhand, 4-2.
Raducanu 7-6, 6-6 Osorio* (*denotes next server)
Vital first point for Raducanu. She's aggressive, dictates the rally and Osorio puts a defensive forehand long.
Raducanu mis-hits a forehand long, 15-30. Timely first serve by Raducanu and Osorio's return is long. Big point coming up.
Osorio forehand into the tramlines, 40-30. Osorio backhand long. And after 79 minutes we are into another tiebreak.
Injury trouble for Raducanu
For the last 45 minutes Raducanu has been frequently blowing on her hand due to the blisters on her racket hand.
At the changeover she calls for a physio and receives treatment. The Brit looks anguished as the physio applies cream to her hand.
Will that solve her problems?
Raducanu* 7-6, 5-6 Osorio (*denotes next server)
Osorio slices a forehand long, 30-30. Critical point coming up.
Osorio steps up and rifles a backhand winner down the line, 40-30. Osorio with a second serve ace down the T to hold.
Gusty play by the Colombian! Can Raducanu force another tiebreak?
Raducanu 7-6, 5-5 Osorio* (*denotes next server)
Raducanu backhand into the net, 0-15. Good hustle by Raducanu, scramble back to hit an overhead and Osario can't get the ball back in play, 15-15.
Osorio hits an awkward backhand into the net, 30-15. Raducanu double fault, 30-30. Not a good time for that.
Wow. Another double fault, 30-40. Raducanu with a timid forehand into the net. She's broken again. Terrible service game.
Raducanu* 7-6, 5-4 Osorio (*denotes next server)
Osorio forehand long, 0-30. Wide serve by Osorio and she flicks a backhand winner into the corner, 15-30.
Defensive forehand by Osorio goes long, 30-40. Raducanu has to take this. Osorio forehand long, Raducanu breaks and will serve for the match next.
Raducanu 7-6, 4-4 Osorio* (*denotes next server)
Raducanu backhand into the net, 0-30. Another backhand into the net from Raducanu, 15-40. Two break points.
Raducanu saves the first with a much needed first serve. Osorio forehand into the net, relief for Raducanu. Deuce.
Raducanu goes for it down the line but misses with a forehand, break point. We have a moon ball rally, Raducanu senses the chance to move forward and put away a drive backhand. Back to deuce.
Osorio backhand winner down the line, fourth break point. Saved when Osorio nets a return.
Raducanu drop shot into the net, that was a tired looking shot, fifth break point. Raducanu forehand long and Osorio breaks.
We're level again in the second set after 56 minutes.
Raducanu* 7-6, 4-3 Osorio (*denotes next server)
Tame drop shot into the net by Osorio, 0-30. That looked a little bit desperate. Osorio forehand into the net, three break points. She has to take one of these now.
Osorio saves the first with a volley winner. Then the second when Raducanu nets a backhand. And the third when Raducanu nets a defensive forehand.
Raducanu is blowing on her fingers a lot, likely she is struggling with blisters on her hand again. She really needs to get through this set if the blisters are becoming an issue again.
Osorio holds when Raducanu hits a forehand long.
Raducanu 7-6, 4-2 Osorio* (*denotes next server)
At the changeover, Osorio calls for the tournament physio. Looks like she's got a nasty blister on her foot that requires treatment.
After over five minutes, we finally get going again. Raducanu wins the opening point of the game with a forehand winner. Another forehand winner makes it 30-0.
And she holds to love when Osorio hits a return long. Raducanu is just two games away from the last eight.
Raducanu* 7-6, 3-2 Osorio (*denotes next server)
Great hustle by Raducanu to stay in the point and she gets a short ball but inexplicably nets a backhand, 30-15.
Osorio puts a forehand just wide, 30-30. It would have been a winner if it was in.
Osorio nets a defensive backhand, break point. Osorio saves it with a forehand winner, deuce. She needed that.
Osorio hits a tired looking forehand long, second break point. Osorio finds her first serve and finishes the point with a drive forehand winner.
Osorio hangs on with a forehand winner to hold.
Raducanu 7-6, 3-1 Osorio* (*denotes next server)
Ideal service hold for Raducanu as she holds to love with an ace to consolidate the break.
However, she was a break up in the first set as well...
Raducanu definitely took that approach to break
If only Raducanu learns how to follow her shots at the net...
So many opportunities... and she always stays on the baseline...
— Tennistonic (@tennistonic) August 4, 2022
Raducanu* 7-6, 2-1 Osorio (*denotes next server)
Osorio gets a short ball after dominating the rally but flicks her backhand long, 30-40. Raducanu gets a second serve to attack and she makes the most of it, going after it, attacking the net and finishing with a volley winner.
That is the tennis we want to see from her.
Raducanu 7-6, 1-1 Osorio* (*denotes next server)
Raducanu double fault, 30-15. And another, 30-30. She's up to six for the match now.
Osorio forehand winner, deuce. Osorio forehand into the net and Raducanu levels things up in the set.
Positive body language from the US Open champ.
Second Set: Raducanu* 7-6, 0-1 Osorio (*denotes next server)
Both players left the court for a change of clothes before the resumption of the match. It is very hot out there.
Osorio nets a forehand and Raducanu earns an early break point, 30-40. Timely first serve by Osorio and Raducanu misses her return, deuce. Osorio holds to start the set.
Raducanu 7-6 Osorio - TIEBREAK
Frustration for Raducanu as she goes for too much on the backhand side, 3-4. Raducanu double fault, 3-5. That was her fourth of the match so far. Raducanu with a badly needed backhand winner down the line, 4-5. Raducanu drop shot winner, 5-5. Wow, Raducanu forehand return winner down the line, 6-5. Brilliant shot. Osorio backhand into the net, 7-5.
Emma Raducanu just won a set against Maria Camila Osorio Serrano after 1 hr 22 minutes.
Feel exhausted and sweaty just watching. Good effort from both.
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) August 4, 2022
Raducanu 6-6 Osorio - TIEBREAK
Raducanu forehand winner down the line, 1-0. Osorio forehand unforced error, 2-0. Great defence by Osorio and Raducanu hits an ugly overhead wide, 2-1. Osorio hits a backhand pass up the line and Raducanu can't get her volley over the net, 2-2. Raducanu hits bad backhand long, 2-3. Raducanu forces Osorio to miss with a forehand up the line, 3-3.
Raducanu* 6-6 Osorio (*denotes next server)
Osorio races to 40-0 but Raducanu hangs in the game with a huge forehand winner, 40-15.
After 72 minutes we enter a tiebreak when Osorio hits an ace.
Raducanu 6-5 Osorio* (*denotes next server)
You get the feeling this first set is crucial for Raducanu if she wants to win this match.
But she drags another forehand into the tramlines and Osorio has a break point, 30-40.
She finds her first serve to hang on, deuce. And she closes out the game with a forehand winner into the corner.
She then turns to her support box and clenches her fist in their direction. That was a gutsy hold. Can she take the set next?
Nothing to separate them so far
Raducanu and Osorio in the opening set: 5-5 and 40 points apiece... a symmetrical scoreline
— TennisNow (@Tennis_Now) August 4, 2022
Raducanu* 5-5 Osorio (*denotes next server)
Osorio double fault, 15-15. Osorio forehand long, 30-30. Raducanu goes for it on the second serve but puts a backhand long, set point.
Another Osorio double fault, deuce. Raducanu forehand long, second set point.
A third double fault of the game by Osorio, deuce. Raducanu goes on the attack and Osorio nets a backhand, break point.
Osorio mis-hits a forehand wide and Raducanu gratefully accepts the break back.
Raducanu 4-5 Osorio* (*denotes next server)
Wow. An audacious forehand drop shot by Osorio from a very deep position which Raducanu got nowhere near, 0-15. Osorio is in the zone right now.
Raducanu responds with an ace. She could do with a few of those right now. Raducanu backhand long, 15-30. Massive point coming up.
Osorio drills a backhand winner up the line, two break points. Raducanu double fault. Osorio breaks and will serve for the set net.
Quite the turnaround in Washington.
Raducanu* 4-4 Osorio (*denotes next server)
Osorio hits a third double fault, 30-30. A gruelling rally between the two players, Osorio eventually wears Raducanu down and the Brit nets a forehand, 40-30. Raducanu forehand long allows Osorio to hold.
We've hit the 50 minute mark and only eight games have been completed. This could be a long one...
It will be interesting to see how Raducanu copes with this heat...
Osorio wins a lonnnngggg game to get back on serve at *3-4 in the first from *1-4 down. That game could provide long-term dividends, as I'm not convinced that Raducanu in this heat is going to hold up. The longer this match goes, the better Osorio's chances are...
— AllAboutTennisBlog (@TennisBlogger1) August 4, 2022
Raducanu 4-3 Osorio* (*denotes next server)
A series of deep forehands by Raducanu eventually draws the error from Osorio, 30-0. That was much better shot selection and speed.
Raducanu hits her first double fault of the match, 30-15. She responds with an overhead winner, 40-15.
Blistering forehand winner up the line by Osorio, deuce. Raducanu forehand into the tramlines, break point.
Osorio backhand long, back to deuce. Raducanu doesn't do enough with her backhand approach shot and she is punished when Osorio lifts a lovely lob over the Brit, break point.
Vital first serve from Raducanu and Osorio fails to make the return, deuce. Raducanu backhand long, third break point.
Raducanu finds the drop shot again and Osorio can't get the ball in play, deuce. Raducanu makes another forehand error, fourth break point chance for Osorio.
Raducanu backhand into the net and we're back on serve. Disappointing game from Raducanu.
Raducanu* 4-2 Osorio (*denotes next server)
Oooohs from the crowd as Raducanu blasts a forehand return winner down the line, 0-15. Osorio double fault, 0-30.
Osorio pulls it back to 30-30 but makes a forehand error to give Raducanu a break point, 30-40.
Osorio goes on the attack and is rewarded when Raducanu is forced to put a defensive lob wide, deuce.
Osoriocomes through another tricky service game when Raducanu's attempted drop shot goes wide.
Raducanu 4-1 Osorio* (*denotes next server)
Raducanu closes the net well to land a deep volley and Osorio can't get the ball back in play, 30-0.
Another wayward forehand by Raducanu, 30-30. Too many errors off that wing so far.
Longest rally of the match and it ends with Osorio placing a brilliant backhand down the line for a winner, break point.
Raducanu finds a timely first serve and Osorio misses her return, deuce. Raducanu survives that scare to hold serve again.
Raducanu* 3-1 Osorio (*denotes next server)
Lovely lob by Raducanu after Osorio fails to do enough with her approach shot, 0-15. Osorio then wildly over hits a forehand, 0-30. Problems here for the Colombian.
But she responds with her best point of the point, ending the rally with a cross-court forehand winner, 15-30.
Raducanu forehand long, 30-30. She'll be frustrated with that shot. Another forehand long by Raducanu, 40-30.
A third forehand error in a row by Raducanu and Osorio holds. That should boost her confidence.
Raducanu 3-0 Osorio* (*denotes next server)
Raducanu has clearly got the heavier weight of shot in the early stages but she doesn't do enough with a forehand and that allows Osorio to drill a backhand down the line, 15-30.
Lovely drop shot by Raducanu, Osorio reaches it but can't get the ball back in play, 40-30. A nice change in tactic from Raducanu there.
Raducanu forehand goes long, deuce. Raducanu consolidates the break when Osorio puts a backhand long. Ideal start for the Brit.
Raducanu* 2-0 Osorio (*denotes next server)
First double fault of the match by Osorio, 15-30. Deep forehand return by Raducanu and Osorio puts a backhand long, two break points.
Osorio saves the first when Raducanu's return goes wide. But not the second as she puts a forehand long.
Early break for the British No 1.
First Set: Emma Raducanu 1-0 Camila Osorio* (*denotes next server)
Raducanu nets a forehand on the opening point after needing three attempts to get her serve in play. Bit of fortune for Raducanu as she chases down a drop shot from Osorio and her angled winner clips the net and drops over, 15-15.
Osorio nets a return, 40-15. Raducanu completes a confident start on serve when she draws a backhand error from Osorio.
Raducanu wins coin toss
Raducanu won the toss and will serve first. Very sparse crowd in the expensive seats. Many fans opting to sit in the shade and under umbrellas.
Here we go!
Raducanu is on court for her match with Osorio. It is a very hot day in Washington was it will be a physical test for the 19-year-old today.
It's all over!
Samsonova causes an upset at the Citi Open as she completes a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Tomljanovic.
And that means Raducanu will be on court very shortly...
Raducanu names her Harry Potter Hogwarts house...
I'd be in Slytherin, for sure. I just think that, you know, they haven't got a great rep, but I just think they are really, hmm, cool. They have got a, just mysterious sort of side to them, and I like that.
Not too far away from Raducanu time
Samsonova is a break up on Tomljanovic, leading 4-2. The former fought back from dropping the first set to force a deciding set.
Raducanu will start after the current match between Liudmila Samsonova and Ajla Tomljanovic
Light crowd and 95 degrees as Samsonova and Tomljanovic begin a 3rd set. pic.twitter.com/sh0iQ1KUW0
— TennisAtlantic (@TennisAtlantic) August 4, 2022
Hello and welcome to coverage from the Citi Open as Emma Raducanu continues her campaign against Camila Osorio.
The British No 1 has returned to action this week in Washington, a month after her early exit at Wimbledon to Caroline Garcia. With the grass court season over, Raducanu's focus is now on the US Open, where she is of course the defending champion.
The 19-year-old made a good start at the Citi Open on Tuesday, beating Louisa Chirico 6-4, 6-2. Watching in the stands was mum Renee and Raducanu said she was loving having her around.
“It is great to have my mum around,” she said. “She hasn’t necessarily spent the most amount of time with me but she is just like every mum. She gets on me if I’m on my phone, if I go to bed too late, if I am having too many cupcakes but she is also really good. She always insists to do my laundry, we are hand drying it in the hotel room but it is a lot of fun to have her travel with me.”
Reflecting on matters on the court, Raducanu expressed her relief at coming through a tricky match.
"I think I definitely had moments in the match where I was playing good tennis, but I was nervous in the beginning, I think, for sure," she said. "I think playing any first round is always pretty challenging. Then, you know, when you're not necessarily that match-sharp, you know, small things you don't necessarily get right. It's just important to, you know, stay calm.
"I think that's something I can do better going forward in this tournament, hopefully in the next round, because, yeah, there were some moments I was slightly agitated, but I definitely regrouped and found a way through in the end."