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Raducanu starts 2023 with a win

Emma Raducanu found the way to a first win since September, in Auckland.

RADUCANU_USOPEN_2022 RADUCANU_USOPEN_2022 (© AI / Reuters / Panoramic)

Emma Raducanu was a set and a break down to Linda Fruhvirtova in Auckland when she launched a come-back. And avoided starting 2023 with a loss against a 17-year-old (ranked 79th) that actually had a more impressive 2022 season than her. The British player kept her foot on the gas pedal, won four games in a row, and then got a precious win against the Czech (4-6, 6-4, 6-2): her first win on Tour since her quarter-final at the Korean Open in September. It is also good news for her new coach Sebastian Sachs.

“Linda is such a great young player and it was a different dynamic for me because normally I was the younger one and going into this match she is, and yeah she’s going to be like up there for sure and she already is so massive props to her”, said Raducanu after the win. “I think it’s always difficult playing your first match of the year and for me, two and a half months it’s been since my last competitive tournament. So it was always going to be a little bit of a challenge, especially with the conditions, and the opponent. I’m really, really happy to have gotten through that. Thanks for everyone’s support.”

The 2021 US Open champion will start this 2023 season with as much attention as the last, as everybody is still wondering if the 20-year-old (now 78th in the world) is the real deal. And as everybody is still also wondering if she can finally keep a coach for a decent amount of time or not. The other main question will be to see of her body can take the efforts the Tour demands as Raducanu has been plagued with injuries last year and again in the off-season (right wrist).

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