British tennis player and 2021 US Open Champion Emma Raducanu has come fighting back after her poor performance at the Sydney Tennis Classic as she beat another US Open Champion, Sloane Stephens, in the first round.
The 18-year-old was disappointingly thrashed in her first professional match of 2022 as the 22-year-old Kazakhstani player Elena Rybakina secured a 6-0 6-1 victory over the young Brit. Having suffered from COVID-19 over the Christmas period, Raducanu has struggled to regain the same level of fitness and quality in her training and play since recovering from the virus.
This ‘Happy Slam’ has already been filled with huge levels of controversy surrounding the vaccine status and eligibility of Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic, who has famously spoken out against vaccines, has now been deported from Australia due to providing insufficient reasoning for being unvaccinated.
Now the focus has shifted away from the Serbian and will focus on the success stories. Raducanu joins fellow Britons Andy Murray, Heather Watson and Dan Evans to the second round of the competition.
Pundits had all been expecting a very one-sided affair during Raducanu’s match but there had been expectation that it would be Stephens to come out on top.
However, it was Raducanu who breezed through the first set 6-0 before falling in the second set, almost as easily as she won the second. Stephens picked up the second 6-2 before once again submitting to Raducanu’s strength as the Brit won the third and final set 6-1.
Here is all you need to know about how to follow Raducanu’s journey at the Australian Open.
When is the Australian Open?
The Australian Open started on Monday 17 January and will conclude on Sunday 30 January 2022.
When is Emma Raducanu next playing?
Raducanu will play her next match on Thursday 20 January 2022. The timing of the match has yet to be confirmed.
How to watch Emma Raducanu’s next match
All of the Australian Open is available to watch through Eurosport 1 (Sky channel 410, BT 435, Virgin 521) or Eurosport 2 (Sky 411, BT 436, Virgin 522).
Matches will also be available to livestream through an online only subscription sport package with Eurosport which costs £6.00/month.
Go to our article on How to watch the Australian Open to find out more.
Who is Emma Raducanu’s opponent?
The British number one will play Danka Kovinic from Montenegro. The 27-year-old is currently ranked at number 98 having reached a career high of 46 in the WTA rankings in 2016.
This is now the third time that the Montenegrin player has reached the second round of the Australian Open, with the last time coming in 2017.
Kovinic beat the South Korean qualifier Jang Su-jeong 6-3 6-2 6-4 to make it through to the second round of the competition.
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