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Billie Jean King Cup qualifying: Emma Raducanu win brings GB level against France



Billie Jean King Cup qualifying: Emma Raducanu win brings GB level against France

This was, by some distance, Raducanu’s best performance on clay – and arguably one of her best of the year against a high-quality opponent.

Garcia, an experienced BJK Cup campaigner, was on top in the opening stages, often producing big, brave shots whenever Raducanu looked to be working her way into her service game.

The two traded breaks in the first set before Garcia closed it out, and she quickly went up a break in the second before Raducanu upped her own aggression.

Firing the ball back at Garcia, she reeled off six of the final seven games to take the match to a deciding set.

Raducanu targeted Garcia’s backhand in the third set, with Garcia bouncing her racquet off the red clay in frustration as the Briton went an early break up.

The partisan crowd did their best to rally Garcia, who looked emotional towards the end, but Raducanu coped well with the noise, closing out all the distractions before wrapping up the match with a smash at the net.

Given she will likely be called on again tomorrow to play Parry, Raducanu now faces the challenge of maintaining her fitness and intensity for a second day running.

“I really loved going out there at 1-0 down and knowing I had to perform to get the team equal. I love that responsibility on my shoulders,” Raducanu said.

“It’s probably one of my strengths. I went out there and was like: OK, it’s all you today.

“I had to really dig deep and be super-physical just to be competitive. I’m very pleased with how I held up.”

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