Raducanu* 1-2 Gauff (* indicates next server)
Chance for Raducanu here as Gauff puts another forehand long, 15-30. Raducanu goes on the offensive and pulls Gauff’s foul, two break points.
First ace of the match by Gauff to save the first. A great second serve in the body from Gauff and Raducanu brings a forehand return.
Back-to-back comes back into the net through Raducanu and Gauff holds.
Latest update from Simon Briggs on Rod Laver Arena
It’s strangely hazy in the Rod Laver Arena, perhaps the result of the pre-session show where a country singer warmed up the crowd. Did he have a smoke machine? You have to squint to see the ball.
Raducanu 1-1 Gauff* (* indicates next server)
Double error on the opening point for Raducanu. Nerves? She then shoots a forehand good long, 0-30.
Brave second serve by Raducanu leads to a return to the net by Gauff. Backhand in Gauff’s tram lines, 30-30.
First long run rally and Raducanu comes out on top as Gauff goes long with a forehand, 40-30.
And Raducanu survives that fear of holding if Gauff puts another forehand long.
First set: Emma Raducanu* 0-1 Coco Gauff (*indicates next server)
Early sign of Gauff’s strength as she forces Raducanu to collect the first two points.
Raducanu gets her first point of the game when Gauff scores a backhand, 40-15. But the 18-year-old holds his ground when Raducanu scores a backhand.
Raducanu wins it and chooses to serve. She likes to do that, putting the responsibility on her opponent.
Here we go!
The two players walk onto the field. Raducanu is first, still bound with her left ankle. Gauff follows with headphones.
Lots of empty seats on RLA, hopefully it will fill up soon.
First game at Rod Laver Arena…
… for Raducanu. How will she react to playing on one of the world’s greatest courses?
John McEnroe on Raducanu
It will probably be the first time in a few years that Emma Raducanu won’t feel the pressure she’s felt since winning the US Open.
So that’s probably a good thing, to give her more freedom and to do her thing because to me she’s the type of player, the type of person and the type of talent that we can use in the top 10. I think that Coco is currently in a better position to make a deep run and I think she’s going to win a major event soon, in the next two years at most. For me she goes down as a big favourite.
She seems to be playing better and serving more consistently than she has been doing. I would say it’s a game she should win, but one that could put Raducanu back on the map, which would be good for her.
ICYMI: Nadal has been eliminated from the Australian Open
One of the tournament’s biggest upsets occurred overnight when an injured Rafael Nadal was defeated in three sets by world No. 65 Mackenzie McDonald in Melbourne.
Read Simon Briggs’ match report here.
Hello and welcome to a mouthwatering showdown at the Australian Open between two of the best young players.
Emma Raducanu takes on Coco Gauff for a place in the third round after both made it through their opening match in Melbourne
Around this time last year, Raducanu was at her peak and enjoyed a wave of unprecedented success after breaking through in 2021 to win the US Open, while Gauff progressed to reach the second week of Grand Slams.
But Raducanu failed to find consistency last year as she was plagued by injuries and went through several coaching changes to fall to 77th in the rankings, while Gauff reached her first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros and is now number seven state.
Gauff and Raducanu are seen as the torchbearers of a new era of women’s tennis following the retirements of Ash Barty and Serena Williams, with organizers planning their clash for the prime-time slot in the night session at Rod Laver Arena.
Their appeal at such a young age is such that Iga Swiatek and defending champion Rafa Nadal’s matches have been relegated to the day session.
“I’m really looking forward to this match, I’m looking forward to it. Coco has obviously done a lot of great things and she’s playing well,” said Raducanu, who overcame an ankle problem to continue.
“She’s a great athlete with some big weapons… I think we’re both good young players, we’ll both get through it, actually we’re part of the next generation of tennis. It’s going to be a great game.”
While all a nation’s hope rests on Raducanu as the only Briton to leave in the women’s draw, Gauff said she’s not under the same pressure as the 20-year-old with several Melbourne Americans to share the load.
“Coming from the UK and being the first Brit to do something in a long time, there’s probably a lot more pressure than I’m used to as an American,” said 18-year-old Gauff.