Emma Raducanu savoured a landmark win as she drew Nice Britain degree with the Czech Republic on the finish of the primary day of their Billie Jean King Cup tie in Prague.
The US Open champion’s conflict with Fiftieth-ranked Tereza Martincova was not simply her senior aggressive debut for Britain but additionally her first skilled match on clay – one other instance of the exceptional profession trajectory the 19-year-old has been on.
The strain was on Raducanu after Harriet Dart’s 55-minute 6-1 6-0 thrashing by Marketa Vondrousova and he or she rose to the problem impressively, claiming a 7-5 7-5 victory.
It was simply Raducanu’s third victory of the season – with Martincova the highest-ranked participant she has crushed since New York – and was significantly satisfying after a sequence of matches through which she has didn’t construct on sturdy begins.
“This win undoubtedly meant quite a bit to me as a result of this 12 months I’ve received a number of first units, I have been main matches, and to really shut it out in two units gave me a number of confidence,” mentioned the 19-year-old.
“And only for the workforce, we’re nonetheless on this, we’re combating, it is all to play for tomorrow. And it being my first match on clay for 4 years, it is fairly insane. I do not know the way it’s been that lengthy.”
Raducanu final performed on the floor again in 2018 in French Open juniors however this efficiency was notable for the way in which she discovered as she went alongside, saving a set level at 4-5 within the opener after which combating again from 1-4 within the second.
“What happy me essentially the most was the adapting I needed to do as a result of the situations modified quite a bit, it was sunny after which chilly after which a number of wind picked up,” she mentioned.
“Additionally on clay there are numerous unhealthy bounces so I used to be struggling quite a bit with that and needed to discover a option to adapt. And I am very happy with the way in which that I managed to up my depth after trailing 1-4 within the second set and overcome that dip.”
The victory was important for Britain if they’re to trigger a serious upset towards the perennial champions, with Dart’s one-sided loss to former French Open finalist Vondrousova an illustration of the scale of their process.
Captain Anne Keothavong mentioned: “Firstly I believed it was a very gutsy efficiency from Emma and for her to have the ability to shut that match in straight units it took an enormous effort.
“I believe now we have to enter tomorrow believing we have likelihood. We got here right here as underdogs, the Czechs had been heavy favourites and nonetheless are the heavy favourites.”
Three factors are wanted for victory and, first up on Saturday, Raducanu will attempt to earn her second towards Vondrousova in what’s a massively intriguing match.
Raducanu defeated the 22-year-old comfortably within the second spherical of Wimbledon final 12 months when she was an unknown amount on the world stage however this isn’t simply Vondrousova’s finest floor, the tie can be being performed on the Cesky membership the place she grew up.
“I really feel like grass and clay are the polar opposites so it’s going to be a special match,” mentioned Raducanu.
“It is her residence floor, her residence match, however I am wanting ahead to it. It may be a giant problem and possibly the hardest opponent that I’ll play on clay early days so it is going to be a fantastic take a look at for me to see the place I am at and construct for the remainder of the season.
“Each match I am taking as a studying expertise however the workforce are so fired up for tomorrow.”
Each captains have the choice of fixing their groups and an intriguing chance for Keothavong could possibly be 20-year-old Sonay Kartal, who has been in sensible type at lower-level occasions during the last six months.