Emma Raducanu was soundly defeated by former French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko in Stuttgart in her first clay-court match of the year.
The Latvian hammered the British number one hard, and Raducanu ultimately fell 6-2, 6-1, in 59 minutes. Raducanu will fall in the rankings from her present position of 68 after reaching the quarterfinals of the competition last year.
In the round of 16, Ostapenko will face third-seeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia. To prepare for the clay-court swing, Raducanu missed Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup loss to France last week.
However, he was comprehensively outplayed after receiving a difficult opening draw. The 2021 US Open winner took the initial game, but she was outmatched by her opponent’s powerful hitting and dropped the following five, surrendering the opening set.
After holding service at the beginning of the second set, Raducanu advanced to 0-30 on Ostapenko’s serve, the 2017 French Open champion, but Ostapenko then claimed 16 games in a row to take a 4-1 lead.
The winner of the 2017 French Open struck 26 winners compared to Raducanu’s six. Spain’s number 31 in the globe Paula Badosa destroyed Daria Kasatkina, the seventh seed. 6-1 6-1.
Men’s world number two Carlos Alcaraz, who lost the top spot to Novak Djokovic after losing in the semifinals of the Miami Open, began his clay-court season at the Barcelona Open with a straightforward 6-3 6-1 victory against Portugal’s Nuno Borges.
Frances Tiafoe, a fifth-seeded American, lost to Finnish world number 40 Emil Ruusuvuori 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 4-6.
The third-seeded Norwegian Casper Ruud defeated the American Ben Shelton 6-2 7-6 (7-1) to win the French Open.