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Raducanu wins her first-ever three-setter at a Grand Slam, beats Stephens

Two Grand Slam champions clashed in the first round of the Australian Open

Emma Raducanu Britain’s Emma Raducanu reacts during her first round match against Sloane Stephens of the U.S. (Panoramic)

Australian Open 2022 | Draw | Order of play | Raducanu – Kovinic

Reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu was taken to three sets for the first time ever at a Grand Slam – but she fought through to beat another former New York titlist, Sloane Stephens, 6-0, 2-6, 6-1.

The British No 1 completed the first set in short order, handing out a bagel in just 17 minutes. The second set was more even if not of massively high quality.

Raducanu had apparently been struggling in her first matches on the WTA Tour, losing in the first round of Indian Wells, Linz and Sydney, although she reached the quarter-finals of the Transylvania Open in October.

And she contracted Covid-19 before Christmas, ruling her out of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition.

It was a tough match-up for a first round.

Emma Raducanu

But she was in solid form for her first main-draw encounter in Melbourne, in a match that lasted an hour and three-quarters.

“Both me and Sloane put everything out there and gave it everything we had,” said Raducanu afterwards. “I’m very happy to have come through against such a great champion like her.

“I think it was a tough match-up for a first round. I was having to work extremely hard for my points but I’m so happy to have got through.”

Seeds who lost on Tuesday (1st round): Kerber (16), Kvitova (20), Fernandez (23)
Seeds already out: Kenin (10), Gauff (14)

Seeds who won on Tuesday (1st round): Sabalenka (2), Muguruza (3), Kontaveit (6), Swiatek (7), Pavlyuchenkova (10), Rybakina (12), Halep (14), Raducanu (17), Mertens (19), Kasatkina (25), Collins (27), Zidansek (29), Vondrousova (31)

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