Emma Raducanu’s old rival came back to haunt her as she went out of the Transylvania Open at the quarter-final stage. Raducanu was beaten in straight sets in Romania by fellow teenager Marta Kostyuk, as the Ukrainian prevailed 6-2 6-1 in under an hour.
The US Open champion struggled from the outset, serving a double fault to be broken in the opening game of the match, and then lost her serve twice more as Kostyuk cruised to the first set
History repeated itself in the first game of the second set, Raducanu serving two double faults as she was broken to love, and from that she never recovered as world no 53 Kostyuk turned in a clinical display, forging into a 5-1 lead and forcing her opponent to serve to stay in the match.
The British player did then show some fight however, unleashing a backhand winner to save a first match point.
Two further match points were rescued by powerful forehands, before Raducanu twice went to game point herself, only to also miss chances to delay the inevitable.
JUST IN: Emma Raducanu crashes out of Transylvania Open after straight-sets loss to Marta Kostyuk
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Eventually though, Kostyuk ended a marathon game by creating another match point and this time, Raducanu was wide with a wild backhand.
In ended what had been a good week for the world no 23, who had recorded the first and second WTA Tour wins of her career by beating Polona Hercog and Ana Bogdan respectively.
Her victory over home player Bogdan was particularly impressive, fuelling the prospect of a mouth-watering semi final with no 1 seed Simona Halep.
Few can accuse Raducanu, 18, of underestimating her opponent though, as pre-game she recalled the times Kostyuk regularly “destroyed” her at junior level.
“Marta is a great opponent, she absolutely destroyed me in the juniors every single time, so it will be an interesting match, I’m looking forward to it,” said the world no 23.
“But she was playing full-time and practicing, on the road, from a very young age. She developed a lot of skills doing that. I kind of came from behind and caught up this year.”
Raducanu also spoke of her determination to face two-time Grand Slam champion Halep, but it is Kostyuk who will now encounter that challenge at the indoor courts in Cluj.
Kostyuk, 19, reached the fourth round of the French Open this year having beaten former champion Garbine Muguruza in the first round, eventually losing to the then reigning champion, Iga Swiatek.
World no 18 Halep was also a straight sets winner, hammering Belgian player Jaqueline Cristian 6-1 6-1.
Cristian did provide a standout moment though, preparing for halloween by entering the arena in a dracula costume.
The other semi final will see Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson play Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit.
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