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Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge

La Cartuja Stadium, Seville, Spain 13 - 20 November 2024

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Emma Raducanu celebrating a comeback win against Caroline Garcia at the Billie Jean King Cup
GB Teams

Emma Raducanu comeback draws Great Britain level against France – reaction from day one

• 3 MINUTE READ

It’s all to play for heading into day two of the Billie Jean King Cup Qualifier between Great Britain and France at La Chaudron, with the teams’ currently level at 1-1.

The Brits will need to win two of a possible three matches tomorrow if they are to book their place in at the Finals in Seville later this year.

Great Britain are looking to defeat France for the first time since 1981 this week.

In the opening rubber of the contest, Katie Boulter lost to world No.49 Diane Parry 6-2, 6-0 to give France the early advantage.

That was before 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu came from a set and a break down to defeat French No.1 Caroline Garcia 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in two hours and eight minutes.

Billie Jean King Cup schedule & draw

Day two - Saturday 13 April from 12:30
 
  • Katie Boulter (GBR) vs Clara Burel (FRA)
  • Emma Raducanu (GBR) vs Diane Parry (FRA)
  • Harriet Dart (GBR) & Heather Watson (GBR) vs Caroline Garcia (FRA) & Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)

21-year-old Raducanu proved the star of the show for the Lexus Billie Jean King Cup team on day one having clinched victory out of the jaws of defeat.

Strong serving and excellent composure from the young Brit during the second and third sets in particular, helped Raducanu produce arguably her most impressive performance of the year to date.

It is her best win by ranking since March 2023 and her second in three rubbers she has played for Great Britain in her career.

“I’m very pleased with my performances and to bring this point home for the team,” she said in her post-match interview.

“It’s very difficult to play against Caroline who has been having such good runs and many good seasons. I was completely the underdog coming out here in her house, on clay.

“I definitely turned it around, I fought really hard, I dug in and that was a really good test for myself as I haven’t had those level matches very often.

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“I don’t mind playing against the crowd, they can get as loud as they want today, tomorrow, or whenever – I think that’s a strength of mine.

“It was great to see so many union jacks out here and to hear the support of the bench, but ultimately, I think it was down to my fight and performance.”

There was a moment in the third set where Raducanu thought she’d won the match with an ace, that would give her a 5-1 lead. Having come to the net to shake hands with her opponent before being told otherwise, it could have rocked the British star mentally, but she kept cool and calm to see out the win.

“Sometimes I’m super locked in and I don’t get the score,” she joked afterwards. “I don’t know what happened, but it was quite embarrassing. All I was thinking is if I lose this right now I’m going to look like a right muppet, so I’m very happy I managed to pull it through in the next game.”

British No.1 Boulter broke Parry on her opening service game before 21-year-old eventually found her feet. The French star utilised her clay court experience and punishing forehand to win 12 consecutive games and give France the lead after an hour and 23 minutes.

“Credit to her, she’s a very good clay court player – I think she played very well,” Boulter said after her match.

“I don’t think she missed a ball after the first couple of games. It’s a learning curve but I think that’s great because I have things to look forward to and push myself on.

“There were a lot of opportunities and I felt like the first set especially could have gone either way. I was up 30-0 a lot in games that she won and I couldn’t quite get over the line and have that edge.

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“For me I have to get better on the clay and I think it’s a really good learning experience for me. I’ve got stuff to improve on but I know that my base level is there. The scoreline was tough but I think it was closer than it seemed.”

Boulter will have to face world No.23 Garcia in the first match on day two in what could be a pivotal clash in the tie.

“Anything can happen day-to-day,” Boulter said. “I got very close to her last time and I think that will still be in her head a little bit.

“I do feel the more matches I play on this surface the more comfortable I’m going to get and the more I’ll find my game.”

Matches on day two start from 12:30 BST. You can watch the action live on BBC SportBBC iPlayer and Tennis Channel in the UK.

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