Emma Raducanu can put herself back on the map with Coco Gauff win – John McEnroe

According to John McEnroe, Emma Raducanu can swing freely and “get back on the map” after beating Coco Gauff in the second round of the Australian Open.

The two biggest young stars of women’s football have been given the best timeslot of the night session at Rod Laver Arena for their career debuts.

In an environment where competition is blatantly lacking, the sport will certainly hope for many more matches between the duo, who first met when they were young and were friendly off the pitch.

Raducanu was still playing at that level when Gauff hit the global stage at the age of 15, making it to the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2019.

He has since accumulated a lot of experience and is now an established top 10 player, while Raducanu beat Gauff by winning the US Open, but saw the lack of a stable foundation as a real challenge.

McEnroe, who works as a specialist for Eurosport, said: “Emma Raducanu probably won’t feel the kind of pressure she has felt since winning the US Open for the first time in a few years.

“So, it’s probably a good thing to let him be more free and do his job, because I think he’s the kind of player, the kind of person, and the kind of talent we could use in the top 10.

“I think Coco is in a better position right now to do a deep run and I think she’ll soon be a big event in a year or two at most. She’s going in as a heavy favourite, in my opinion.

“He seems to be playing better and serving more consistently than before. I would say it’s a game that needs to be won, but it’s a game that can put Raducanu back on the map, which would be good for him.

Raducanu’s first-round victory over Germany’s Tamara Korpatsch was his fourth victory at a grand slam since his phenomenal run to the title in New York.

Raducanu, who entered the tournament with concerns about an ankle injury he suffered during his first event of the season in Auckland, put on a strong performance after overcoming his initial hesitations.

His forehand, which had been passive from time to time last season, has become a real weapon again with the 20-year-old player who wants to step on the field at every opportunity.

Speaking passionately about his newfound partnership with new German coach Sebastian Sachs, Raducanu said: “Out of the season, the tennis division was like six days (due to a wrist injury).

“I didn’t really train. But I’ve done a lot in the gym and I think my forehand is a real weapon. It will take some tweaking but going forward, I see myself really loving this side and I really love it.

“I think I’m swinging more freely overall now, it’s probably showing up on my forehand.”

If Raducanu’s New York success is a signature hit, it’s his scorching comeback, and Gauff expects him to take some punishment as the British player chases after his career top 10 victories.

“I just have to be ready and accept some comeback winners that may come my way,” said the 18-year-old American. “I think this will be a good match for both of us. I’m excited.”

Gauff had an excellent 2022, reaching his first grand slam final at the French Open, placing in the top 10 and becoming world number one doubles.

She remained defenseless on her serve and forehand, but the young player was satisfied with her pre-season work – including boxing – and looked very strong in the first games of the year, winning the Auckland championship and beating Katerina Siniakova in the round. a.

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