The Australian Open has lost another big name: Emma Raducanu.
The popular British tennis player lost 6-3 7-6 to American Coco Gauff on Wednesday night in the second round of the tournament.
It is another to the Australian Open, which loves Raducanu as she is popular and marketable.
This year, the tournament rolled out a promotional video featuring the 20-year-old strolling along Elwood Beach.
“I love coming back to Australia, I feel there is such a good energy here. And I think there is great banter. The coffee is unbelievable,” she said in the video.
On her own Instagram, she has 2.5 million followers.
Raducanu’s loss came just hours after Spain’s Rafael Nadal, who won the men’s singles title last year, was also knocked out of the tournament.
The pair join a list of fan favourites and big names no longer in the competition.
Just two days before, Australian Nick Kyrgios pulled out suddenly with a knee injury.
The AO also lost Aussie star Ash Barty this year, who has retired, and Japan’s Naomi Osaka, who is pregnant.
Less than a fortnight before the tournament began, Venus Williams pulled out due to an injury she sustained in Auckland, New Zealand.
It’s a big blow to the AO as they are all names closely linked to the sport and are often known by those who only care for tennis once a year during the home tournament.
Raducanu surprised to be able to play at all
Raducanu suffered an ankle injury ahead of the Australian Open and after her loss on Wednesday, the former US Open champion admitted she had had very little practice time.
“I would say, like, all the chips were against us, and the chances of me playing this tournament were very, very low,” she said in a press conference.
“So I had extremely limited practice time, and I think I can say that now I’m not, like, competing anymore.
“But, yeah, it was obviously going to be a push to get me on the court. I think 13 days ago if you would have told us, like, ‘hey, you’re going to be in the draw and win a round’, it would have been a massive effort for sure.
“Saying that, I still think I didn’t necessarily play my best today.”
She added that she would like to play Gauff again, “with more than five hours under my belt of practice”.
Raducanu said in the ten days before the tournament, her team did everything they could to get her on the court.
“And day one I was in crutches and doing pool rehab,” she laughed.
“To get onto the court from there has been a massive effort.”