Emma Raducanu is out of the Auckland Traditional after falling to a 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 defeat by second seed Elina Svitolina within the second spherical.
The Briton, enjoying her second match since wrist and ankle surgical procedures, raced right into a 5-1 lead within the first set earlier than taking it within the tie-break.
Svitolina received the second after one other tie-break and, with Raducanu tiring, took the third in simply 31 minutes.
Subsequent up for Raducanu is the Australian Open, which begins on 14 January.
The 2021 US Open champion was enjoying with pretty heavy strapping on her proper thigh however went toe to toe with world quantity 25 Svitolina earlier than fading after an intense first two units that every lasted greater than an hour.
“I can take away that I performed a excessive stage for 2 lengthy units,” Raducanu mentioned.
“I am happy with how shortly I used to be in a position to get my stage up, as Elina provides you nothing.
“To have the ability to play like I did for 2 units, in my second match again… the extent was raised actually shortly.”
Whereas Raducanu’s focus turns to the primary Grand Slam of the yr in Melbourne, Svitolina progresses to the Auckland quarter-final the place she is going to play Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova.
Raducanu will receive direct entry into the main draw for the Australian Open following American Lauren Davis’ withdrawal with a shoulder damage.
Encouraging indicators in defeat for Raducanu
After a hard-fought victory over Romania’s Elena-Gabriela Ruse within the first spherical, this was one other gruelling encounter for Raducanu as she continues her return from damage.
The 21-year-old started nicely to go a double break up however was twice unable to transform when serving for the primary set.
Nevertheless, she confirmed her resilience within the breaker, establishing her first set level with a drop shot and – after a double fault – changing the second with a deft forehand.
Svitolina got here combating again at the beginning of the second with Raducanu saving two break factors within the opening sport, just for Ukraine’s former world quantity three to transform the third.
Raducanu broke again instantly, however Svitolina made it three video games in opposition to the serve in a row to revive her benefit.
Once more, Raducanu hit again although with one other break to make it 3-3 and from there it stayed on serve to arrange one other tie-break.
The Briton went up 3-1 earlier than Svitolina reeled off six straight factors to stage the competition and by no means seemed again.
Raducanu was exhibiting indicators of fatigue with two unforced errors gifting Svitolina a pair of break factors within the first sport of the third set. They have been repelled, with a 3rd saved with an ace, however a double fault ultimately gave Svitolina the break.
There was no means again for Raducanu, who seemed understandably weary after a protracted damage absence from the tour, and an energised Svitolina ruthlessly completed the job.
Evaluation: Fatigue no shock
Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent
The fatigue within the remaining levels was no shock – the match was already into its third hour when the deciding set started, and that is not a cushty place for somebody enjoying simply their second match in eight months.
However Raducanu’s efficiency within the first two units was extraordinarily good. By nature an aggressive participant, she was additionally very spectacular in defence and there was selective however efficient use of the drop shot.
Her subsequent aggressive look will likely be in the principle draw of the Australian Open, however it’s fairly doable she is going to first play an exhibition match or two at subsequent week’s Kooyong Traditional in Melbourne.
Dart reaches final 4 in Canberra
Elsewhere, Harriet Dart beat second seed and world quantity 93 Nao Hibino 6-3 6-0 to succeed in the Canberra Worldwide semi-finals.
It’s the first time in Dart’s profession that she has received a set 6-0 in opposition to a high 100 opponent on a floor apart from grass.
World quantity 120 Dart will face American Katie Volynets for a spot within the remaining.
High seed Coco Gauff breezed by means of to the final eight in Auckland after a straight-set win over Brenda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic. The American received 6-3 6-0 and can play France’s Varvara Gracheva within the quarter-finals.
On the Brisbane Worldwide, Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina cruised into the quarter-finals with a 6-1 6-0 win over Elise Mertens of Belgium, whereas 16-year-old Russian Mirra Andreeva additionally superior with a 6-1 6-1 triumph in opposition to Australia’s Arina Rodionova.
Victoria Azarenka will face Jelena Ostapenko within the final eight after every received their last-16 matches. Azarenka overcame France’s Clara Burel 7-5 6-2 whereas Ostapenko beat Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova – who knocked out Naomi Osaka in the previous round – 6-2 4-6 6-3.
In the meantime, Oliver Crawford, who has two mother and father from Birmingham, has this week switched his nationality from america to Nice Britain.
The 24-year-old from South Carolina, who has a world rating of 215, turns into the British quantity 9, and earned his place in Australian Open qualifying with spectacular outcomes on the ITF and ATP Challenger Excursions within the latter months of 2023.
His solely earlier look in Grand Slam qualifying got here on the 2022 US Open, the place he misplaced within the first spherical to Geoffrey Blancaneaux of France.