Emma Raducanu’s hopes of facing her idol Simona Halep in the Transylvania Open were ended by Marta Kostyuk in the quarter-finals.
The 18-year-old US Open champion was comprehensively beaten 6-2 6-1 by her teenage Ukrainian opponent.
Before the match Raducanu described how Kostyuk would “destroy” her when they played at junior level.
And after her 57-minute defeat Raducanu said: “I was quite tired and lethargic but all credit to Marta.” .
The Briton, who was seeded third – three places higher than her 19-year-old opponent, added: “I wasn’t physically feeling 100%. I knew from practice that I was tired, couldn’t get it going.
“It’s disappointing that you have these days, it’s not a nice feeling to have. I just need to move on from it and brush it off and then I’ll be back in another tournament soon.”
Kostyuk will face Halep in the last four after the Romanian thrashed compatriot Jaqueline Cristian 6-1 6-1.
End of the road for Raducanu
The tournament in Romania had a special meaning for Raducanu as her grandmother still lives in the country and her father Ian was born there.
Raducanu, who is ranked 23rd in the world, recorded her first tour level win against Polona Hercog on Tuesday, followed by a straight-sets victory over Ana Bogdan two days later.
Against Kostyuk, however, Raducanu could not replicate the stunning form she has shown during her meteoric rise.
The third seed said the fatigue she felt during the defeat in Cluj-Napoca was more than likely due to the whirlwind highs of the “last six months”.
“It’s been a lot of learning and I have experienced a lot with no gaps,” she added.
“I’m just adapting to the fast-paced life of the tour and still very new to it. It’s still going to take me some time to adjust.”
The third seed made 41 unforced errors compared to 16 by her opponent – who is just five months older than her.
Raducanu went an early break down in the first set but began to find her range and cope better with Kostyuk’s powerful serve.
But any thoughts of a comeback for the Grand Slam winner were dashed in the second set as 55th-ranked Kostyuk dominated to secure a semi-final with top seed Halep.
“Honestly I don’t know how I won the first game,” said Kostyuk following the win.
“I was 15-40 down, she had advantage, she was serving, and I think that’s where everything started – I somehow won that game and I gained this confidence.”
In total, Raducanu was broken five times and recorded seven double faults – a far cry from the flawless display she produced at Flushing Meadows in September.
Home favourite Halep has already faced Kostyuk this month, with the pair meeting in the second round at Indian Wells three weeks ago.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Halep was taken to a tie-break in the first set against Kostyuk before she overcame the 19-year-old 7-6 (7-2) 6-1.
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