Raducanu faces big test against Stephens on Australian Open debut
18 January, 2022, 10:23 am
MELBOURNE, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Britain’s Emma Raducanu claimed a Grand Slam trophy even before she played a major champion but the 19-year-old could face a daunting task on her Australian Open debut when she meets former U.S. Open winner Sloane Stephens on Tuesday.
Raducanu became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam in the Open era when she defeated Leylah Fernandez in New York last September but the teenager has struggled to replicate the same form since, with early losses at Indian Wells and Linz.
“I think it’s going to be a tough match for sure. I’m going to go out there and enjoy the match because just playing in this Grand Slam, I had to work so hard to be here. Yeah, I’ll just go out there and enjoy,” Raducanu said ahead of Tuesday’s contest.
Among the men, Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev takes on Swiss Henri Laaksonen on Rod Laver Arena, while fourth-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas plays Swede Mikael Ymer. Russia’s Andrey Rublev is also in action against Italian Gianluca Mager.