'Emma Raducanu has to be more structured', says WTA legend

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'Emma Raducanu has to be more structured', says WTA legend

World number 7 Coco Gauff defeated 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu 6-4, 7-6(4) in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday night. Under the bright lights of Rod Laver Arena, the 18-year-old American prevailed in a first meeting between the two young stars.

Gauff will face either Zheng Qinwen or Bernarda Pera next, with the winner advancing to the round of 16. At 18, Gauff is the youngest seed in the tournament and has now won seven straight matches to start his 2023 season. She opened her year with a dominating run to her third career title at the ASB Classic in Auckland, losing just 22 games in five matches.

In the first professional meeting between the two young contemporaries, Gauff and Raducanu struggled with their consistency as they tried to fight off aggressive control from the baseline. The first set saw the toughness of the match for Gauff, as the American was better at critical points.

She saved six of seven break points to stifle Raducanu's momentum, winning the first set 6-3 after 43 minutes. Raducanu settled into the match in the second set. The 20-year-old Brit began serving better and rallied from 4-2 down to win serve back from him.

His backhand proved to be the dangerous end, with 10 of his 13 baseline winners coming from that end. Serving down 5-4, Gauff was forced to save two set points to hold, but after forcing a tiebreaker, the American played a cleaner decider to seal victory after 1 hour and 42 minutes.

Gauff finished the game with 13 game winners to 41 unforced errors. Raducanu hit 17 winners to 42 unforced errors.

Henin opens up on Emma Raducanu

Seven-time Grand Slam winner Justine Henin recently commented on 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu's exit.

"We cannot expect Emma to play every tournament like she played when she won the US Open. She’s still developing, and we’re talking about the identity of her game. She has to be more structured, and for that she has to train and practise," Henin said.

"Tennis life is hard. You have to work hard, take time and get to know each other. You have to know yourself, too. Stability helps because it helps you through big and difficult moments. If you work three or six months with a coach, that’s often not enough time to work together, and you cannot do the job in three or six months," Henin said.