Coco Gauff defeats Emma Raducanu to advance at the Australian Open
Coco Goff competed in a tough match in the second round Australian Open On Wednesday, defeated Emma Radukanu 6-3, 7-6.
Goff, 18, is unbeaten in seven matches this year, winning the ASB Classic in Auckland earlier this month.
Against Radukanu, the 2021 US Open champion, she faced her toughest test of the year so far, and the highly anticipated encounter certainly lived up to its billing.
Both players made high-quality shots at key moments, but it was Goff, seeded seventh for the tournament, who had his hands full.
“Considering the circumstances, I can imagine we were both nervous,” Goff said in his on-court interview. “It was a long-anticipated match-up since the draw, so I’m glad it was a good match for you.”
The pair exchanged breaks early in the match, but Goff took advantage when he broke for a 4-2 lead and served for the first set.
It looked like the American would cruise for the rest of the match when she raced to a 3-1 lead in the second set, but Raducanu stormed back into the contest and broke Goff to love at 3-4.
Time and again, the two players found themselves locked in long, absorbing rallies, and Radukanu came close to leveling the match with two set points at 5-4.
Goff, however, was moving gracefully around the court, getting shots that seemed out of her reach. Her serve also proved to be a reliable weapon when she needed it most as she took the second set into a tiebreak.
Radukanu, unable to maintain her high level from earlier in the set, slipped to a 2–6 deficit in the tiebreak, and from there Goff saw the contest out by sending a lob over Radukanu for the third of her four match points.
After starting the Australian Open as one of the pre-tournament favourites, Goff will be chasing a maiden Grand Slam title against China’s Zheng Qinwen or American compatriot Bernarda Pera in the third round.
The 20-year-old Radukanu tried to take something positive away from his defeat, especially after the Briton rolled his ankle during his second round match in Auckland ahead of the first Grand Slam of the 2023 season.
Radukanu has struggled with form and injury since winning her first Grand Slam as an 18-year-old qualifier and slipped to 77th in the world rankings ahead of the Australian Open.
“All the chips were against us, and the chances of me playing in this tournament were slim,” Radukanu told reporters.
“So I had very limited practice time … Having said that, I still think I didn’t do my best today. Although in the second set I had chances and I was pushing, I still felt that I could have done better.
“But props to him. He’s a great, great opponent and great athlete.”