Denmark’s Clara Tauson came back from a break down in the final set to defeat Emma Raducanu from Great Britain at the WTA Chicago 125 on Sunday, 6-1 2-6 6-4.
I fought for every single point even though I was down almost all of the third set. Today I just wanted to fight for every point and see what I could do, because she's playing so well. Clara Tauson
Both finalists are 18 years old but the Dane is the more experienced on the WTA Tour of the two, having won her first singles title at this level at the 2021 Lyon Open and breaking into the top 100 on the WTA rankings on 8 March 2021.
Raducanu is just beginning her fledgling pro career, and will be trying to qualify for the US Open next week., where Tauson gains direct entry.
Ranked 176, the Bromley teenager rises 24 place to 150 in this week’s ratings as a result of her excellent run in Chicago, despite the disappointment of losing in the final.
Tauson romped away with the first set, dropping just a single game, but Raducanu rebounded to win the second with the loss of just 2 games, winning 75% of her first serve points.
The Brit, who had dropped just one set on her way to the final, twice went up a break in the deciding set at 2-0 and 3-2 in what proved to be a thrilling decider, before Tauson levelled and regained the momentum.
Although Raducanu had chances to stay on serve for 5-5, Tauson broke her to take the win after the 2 hour 15 minutes of enthralling play between the two talented teenagers.
The match was evenly balanced in terms of stats, with Tauson in the end edging Raducanu by the finest of margins.
Tauson’s formidable power was on full display in the one-sided opener, but Raducanu levelled the match with canny court-craft that left Tauson visibly frustrated.
As the match reached its conclusion, Tauson settled and unleashed her power again, which saw the Dane over the line.
Tauson now also rises 24 places to be ranked World No 77 from Monday.
The WTA Chicago 125 field was a strong one, led by top seed Alison Van Uytvanck, the World No 58 from Belgium, who Raducanu upset in straight sets in the first round.
The Brit received a wild-card to compete in Chicago and went on to beat France’s Clara Burel and Jule Niemeier from Germany before dropping her only set of the week ahead of the final to American Claire Lui in the semi-final.
Tauson’s run was way tougher, getting past Britain’s Harriet Dart and Hailey Baptiste from the USA in 3 sets before seeing off Australia’s Storm Sander and American Ann Li in straight sets to reach the final.
Tennis continues in the Windy City with the WTA Chicago Women’s Open with Elina Svitolina, the World No 6 from the Ukraine, leading the field, and Alizé Cornet from France seeded No 2 at the WTA 250 event.
Also in the draw is Britain’s Heather Watson, who plays Ana Bogdan from Romania on Monday
Elsewhere this week, Tennis in the Land, also a WTA 250, is being held in Cleveland, Ohio, where the top seed is Russia’s Daria Kasatkina, ranked 27, with Anett Kontaveit from Latvia as the second seed.
British No 1 Johanna Konta was due to play in Cleveland but withdrew ahead of her first round match against Italy’s Martina Trevisan amid concerns that her left knee issue, which forced her to retire from Montreal 2 weeks ago, may still be causing her problems.