Madrid Open: Emma Raducanu and Harriet Dart lose in first round

British pair Emma Raducanu and Harriet Dart lost in straight sets in the first round of the Madrid Open.

Raducanu, 21, was beaten 6-2 6-2 by Argentine qualifier Maria Lourdes Carle.

Dart, who won two qualifying matches to reach the main draw, held a 4-0 lead in her second set against Spain’s Cristina Bucsa but lost 6-4 6-4.

In the men’s draw, Britain’s Jack Draper will begin his tournament against Australian qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis later on Wednesday.

Raducanu was set to play Karolina Pliskova in her opening match but the former world number one pulled out of the tournament because of a wrist injury.

The Briton, ranked number 221 in the world, reached her first WTA quarter-final in 19 months at the Stuttgart Open last week as she continues her comeback from an injury-hit 2023 season.

But Raducanu, who dropped to 303rd in the world following wrist and ankle operations last year, was unable to recover after falling a double break of serve behind in both sets against her 82nd-ranked opponent.

The 2021 US Open champion has returned to better form in recent weeks, helping Britain beat France in the Billie Jean King Cup before defeating Angelique Kerber and Linda Noskova in Stuttgart.

Elsewhere at the Madrid Open, four-time major champion Naomi Osaka progressed with a comfortable 6-4 6-1 win against Belgium’s Greet Minnen.

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