Australian Open: Gauff says pressure all on Raducanu ahead of second-round clash

By Sports Desk January 16, 2023

Coco Gauff believes all the pressure will be on Emma Raducanu when the two face each other in the second round of the Australian Open.

Neither had any difficulties in their opening matches of the tournament at Melbourne Park on Monday, with Gauff easing past Katerina Siniakova 6-1 6-4 while Raducanu dispatched Tamara Korpatsch 6-3 6-2.

Gauff pointed to the pressure Raducanu has faced since her surprise US Open win in 2021 and thinks that her opponent being the main British hope could play to her advantage. 

"Obviously she's gone through a lot of pressure, bursting onto the scene. I feel like probably more than I have experienced coming to win a slam," Gauff said.

"Especially being from the UK, the first British person to do something in a long time, probably is a lot more pressure than what I'm used to being an American. Obviously I was a lot younger when I got the attention, so I definitely think handling it at an older age is a little bit easier than at 15. But also, at the same time, I didn't win a slam.

"There's always, for American fans, someone to look to. Whereas I feel like, the British, it's just her. There's other British players, but no one has done what she's done and gotten that far in a slam."

Raducanu also sealed her passage to the second round without much fuss as she put her recent injury issues behind her with a convincing win over Korpatsch.

"I'm obviously really happy to be through to the second round," Raducanu said. "It was always going to be difficult, coming in with so little prep and being out there.

"Everything I've done has been quite controlled the last week. So to test it out in a real match and with the unpredictability and stuff, I was just getting used to it in the beginning. But it felt good."

Despite being a grand slam winner, Raducanu came into the tournament 77th in the WTA rankings, 70 places below Gauff, but the 20-year-old is looking forward to facing another player she sees as part of the next generation.

"I'm really looking forward to this match," she added. "I'm very up for it. Coco has obviously done a lot of great things and she's playing well.

"I think we're both good, young players, we're both coming through, part of the next generation of tennis, really. It's going to be a great match."

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