The 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu was upset by world number seven Coco Gauff 6-4, 7-6(4) in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday. In their first encounter, the American, age 18, triumphed in front of a dazzling Rod Laver Arena crowd.
The victorious matchup between Gauff and Zheng Qinwen or Bernarda Pera will determine who advances to the round of 16. Gauff, who is the tournament’s youngest seed at 18 years old, has won seven straight games to begin his 2023 campaign. She began the year by going undefeated in five matches at the ASB Classic in Auckland, winning her third career title.
Gauff and Raducanu struggled with consistency in their first professional encounter as they attempted to fend off aggressive control from the baseline. Gauff’s match was challenging in the first set since the American outperformed him at pivotal moments.
She defeated Raducanu’s momentum by saving six of seven break points, taking the opening set 6-3 in 43 minutes. In the second set, Raducanu began to take control of the game. After falling behind 4-2, the 20-year-old British player started to serve better and rallied to get the serve back.
With 10 of his 13 baseline wins coming from that end, his backhand was the dangerous end. Gauff had to save two set points while serving while down 5-4, but after forcing a tiebreaker, the American produced a better decisive game to secure the win after 1 hour and 42 minutes.
Gauff ended the game with 13 game-winning shots compared to 41 unforced mistakes. Raducanu had 42 unforced errors compared to 17 wins.
Henin discusses Emma Raducanu in-depth
Seven-time Grand Slam champion Justine Henin recently offered her opinion on Emma Raducanu’s elimination as the 2021 US Open champion.
“Emma cannot be expected to compete in every competition at the level she did when she won the US Open. We are discussing the nature of her game while she is still evolving. She needs to be more organized, thus she must practice and train “explained Henin.
“The tennis world is tough. Work hard, take your time, and get to know one another. You must also be aware of who you are. Stability is beneficial since it carries you through major challenges. If you work with a coach for three or six months, it is frequently insufficient time for you to work together, and you cannot complete the task in three or six months, “explained Henin.