Raducanu wins on Australian Open debut
Jan 18, 2022 1 min, 22 secs

Britain's Emma Raducanu showed quality and resilience to beat American Sloane Stephens in three sets for a spot in the Australian Open second round.

On her senior debut in Melbourne, the US Open champion won 6-0 2-6 6-1 against Stephens, another previous winner in New York.

"Both me and Sloane put everything out there and it was a very good match," said Raducanu, who wrapped up victory shortly before midnight and thanked an excited crowd for staying.

Against 68th-ranked Stephens, it looked like Raducanu might be wrapped up even earlier a week on - this time for wildly different reasons.

Raducanu was the one who started to make mistakes - racking up 19 unforced errors compared to only two in the first - and 28-year-old Stephens took advantage to level.

Three match points quickly arrived in the seventh game and, after a brief delay caused by an intruding moth on the baseline, Raducanu took the final match point when Stephens flicked into the net.

The Emma Raducanu of the first set looked every inch the player who had steamed through the US Open draw without dropping a set.

Back came Stephens, though, to leave Raducanu in unchartered territory - a first deciding set in a Grand Slam match.

That final set was closer than the scoreline suggests, but Raducanu took all her chances and then showed great delight at the moment of victory.

Grand Slam wins should always be a big deal when you are a teenager, and given the thrashing she received by Elena Rybakina in Sydney last week, this was a win full of character by the US Open champion.

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