After having the set on her racket, Raducanu failed to win another point as Kalinina clinched a marathon 77-minute set and converted her third match point to set up a second-round meeting with No. 8 seed Jelena Ostapenko. It meant that Raducanu suffered a first-round defeat for the first time this year.
The Brit had been looking to improve on her run of three successive second-round losses but fell at the first hurdle in Doha. There were still some promising signs even though it was arguably the worst match of Raducanu’s comeback so far, as she took too long to settle in and hit 48 unforced errors.
Ahead of the tournament, Raducanu said Nick Cavaday – her childhood coach who joined the team ahead of the Australian Open – had been trying to implement new things into her game. And it showed in what was a strong serving day for the Brit, who hit four aces and made 70 per cent of her first serves.