Emma Raducanu put her injury worries behind her to get off to a winning start at the Australian Open and staged a successful second-round encounter with Coco Gauff.
The 20-year-old former US Open champion had her left ankle she sprained in Auckland 11 days ago, but gained confidence throughout the match and cruised to a 6-3 victory 6-2 over Tamara Korpatsch in her Melbourne opener. Park after one hour and 25 minutes.
Seventh-seeded Gauff, who beat Katerina Siniakova 6-1 6-4, will offer a very different challenge as she looks to emulate Raducanu in winning a Grand Slam.
Despite being over a year younger than Raducanu, Gauff has already played for three and a half years on the main circuit, climbing into the top 10 and establishing the kind of solid foundation her next opponent is always looking for.
Greeted warmly in a crowded mid-sized 1537 Arena, Raducanu initially appeared hesitant on serve and stretching wide to her backhand.
The decisive moment of the first set came in game seven after Raducanu was caught twice after a break in front.
The British No.1 took an aggressive approach under new coach Sebastian Sachs and tried to seize the initiative on her forehand.
It paid off as she got another break, clenching her fist in the direction of her team, and it was the start of a six-match streak that gave her full control of the contest.
Now putting a lot more weight behind her backhand and looking confident in her game plan, Raducanu took the win when Korpatsch drove in a long forehand.
Raducanu vs Korpatsch: Match stats
|67%||1st serve winning percentage||60%|
|50%||2nd serve winning percentage||20%|
|6/13||Break points earned||2/4|
|66||Total points earned||49|
There wasn’t such good news for Kyle Edmund, who lost 6-4 6-0 6-2 to the 15th seed Jannik Sinner on his return to Melbourne Park.
Sidelined for most of the past two years after undergoing three knee surgeries, former semi-finalist Edmund was playing here for the first time since 2020.
As at the US Open, however, where he played against Casper Ruud, the luck of the draw was not on Edmund’s side and the Italian Sinner, one of the best young players in the world, went turned out to be far too strong.
“I like the conditions. Obviously when you play in stadiums for me it’s a bit easier, the pitch is a bit slower,” Sinner said.
“Outside it’s a bit more difficult, but when you always make the quarter-finals in any Grand Slam, it means you like the conditions, so I’m very happy to be back here. .”