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Emma Raducanu reveals Andy Murray helped inspire her to victory against Caroline Garcia at the BNP Paribas Open after reaching the second round himself

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Emma Raducanu praised the inspirational power of Andy Murray after scoring a highly welcome victory in the California desert.

The two of them passed in the corridor as she followed him onto the main court at Indian Wells, where he had just notched his 700th win on the ATP Tour.

Raducanu then registered only her second victory of a difficult season when she overcame France’s former world number Caroline Garcia 6-1 3-6 6-1 to make the third round, having had a bye.

On a good night for the GB players that was followed up by Harriet Dart defeating world number eighteen Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.

By then Murray had beaten Japan’s Taro Daniel, thus achieving one of the goals he has set himself in his 35th year.

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‘I definitely looked up to him today especially because I was following him,’ said US Open champion Raducanu. ‘ I knew he came through some tricky moments. I was thinking the same when I dropped the second set.

‘I was like, ‘you can do the same, just keep pushing’. It’s always like a weird one when you’re following someone who has just won. You really want to do the same. It kind of gives you the extra fuel. He gave me like a fist bump, it was really cool.

‘He has been supportive, for sure. One time when I was just practicing, I managed to hit with him. I was so nervous. I was moving my feet so fast just to try and keep up.

‘I think he’s just such a great role model for me and everyone from the UK, and also across the world. 700 wins is something I can just dream of.’

Raducanu’s only other win this season was in the first round of the Australian Open, with hip injuries a problem as she tries to develop her physique to sustain the intensity of the main tour. She now faces experienced Croatian Petra Martic.

‘It’s been challenging,’ she admitted. ‘ Covid, the injuries, the blisters, I think they were all a knock-on effect of getting Covid (prior to Christmas), then not training for three weeks.

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‘It’s tough when you have no momentum. It’s so stop-start. After Mexico last month, I flew home, pretty much everyone was like, ‘You’re done. Hopefully Miami is 50/50.’ (the event later this month). At the time, that’s like four weeks of rehabbing, coming back.

‘I feel like now people are starting to realise it’s going to take some time for me to settle in. I feel like patience is a big thing. Once I settle in and go through all these highs and lows, I’ll find some sort of equilibrium.’

After a career-best victory over a player who may have other things on her mind Dart now has the chance to crack the world’s top 100, if she beats veteran Kaia Kanepi in the next round.

Cam Norrie won the tournament in October when it was last held, and was due to begin his title defence against Spain’s Pedro Martinez.

The British number one was somewhat uncharitably put on outside Court Number Five for his first match back the desert venue.

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