British number one Emma Raducanu suffered a crushing defeat in the opening round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart to Jelena Ostapenko. The 20-year-old seemed sluggish from the outset against her Latvian opponent who caused Raducanu problems with relentless heavy hitting. The contest ended in a straight sets victory for Ostapenko 6-2 6-1 in only 59 minutes. The tournament is being played on the clay surface as a warmup to the French Open which starts next month.
The defeat will be considered a major setback for Raducanu and could impact on her qualification for the main draw of Wimbledon. The 2021 US Open Champion is currently ranked no 68 in the world but will drop down the rankings after her disappointing performance in Stuttgart. She was defending her quarter finals result from last year so will now lose 100 of her 839 raking points.
The cut-off for ranking points to be earned before the Wimbledon Championships is 22nd May. It is being predicted that Raducanu will need around 650 raking points to qualify for the main draw. This is already looking a difficult task for her as she is defending another 120 points in Madrid later in the month.
It could prove a crucial couple of months for Raducanu if we are to see her compete at SW19 this year.