(Reuters) - Emma Raducanu's defeat in her first match since winning the U.S. Open was a "little bump", fellow Briton Andy Murray said, backing the 18-year-old to deal with expectations and disappointment in a mature way.
Qualifier Raducanu did not drop a set in 10 matches en route to the title at Flushing Meadows last month but lost 6-2 6-4 on Friday to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the second round of the Indian Wells tournament in California.
"What happened in New York was obviously incredible but in tennis and sport it doesn't just go in an upwards direction all the time," former world number one Murray told reporters.
"There's always little bumps and stuff along the way. It's just a little bump, but I think pretty much everyone was sort of expecting that as well. I don't think it's anything unexpected, to be honest."
"She's unbelievably bright, well educated and stuff," Murray said. "So you would imagine she would certainly be a lot better equipped to deal with everything that's going on than most and deal with it in a more mature way than I'd have done when I was 18."
Murray fended off a challenge from 18-year-old U.S. Open quarter-finalist Carlos Alcaraz of Spain to win 5-7 6-3 6-2 and reach the third round on Sunday.
His former coach Darren Cahill tweeted that it was the 34-year-old's best performance since having hip surgeries in 2018 and 2019.
"It wasn't easy out there today. Not easy conditions. Very hot. Court is incredibly slow. Balls after a couple of games are also extremely slow," said three-times Grand Slam champion Murray, who faces Alexander Zverev next.
"Not easy to finish points. Not getting many free points on your serve or anything like that. It was a good win."
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, Editing by Timothy Heritage)