MELBOURNE: World No.7 American Coco Gauff defeated 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu 6-4, 7-6(4) in a scratchy first-time meeting with the Brit to enter the third round of the Australian Open, here on Wednesday.
Gauff will face either Chinese Zheng Qinwen or Croatian-born American Bernarda Pera next, with the winner advancing to the Round of 16.
The 18-year-old Gauff is the youngest-seeded player in the tournament and has now won seven consecutive matches to start her 2023 season. She opened her year with a dominant run to her third career title at the ASB Classic in Auckland, losing just 22 games across five matches.
The opening set saw Gauff's match-toughness come through, as the American was better on the 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 to serve better and rallied from 4-2 down to get back on serve. Her backhand proved the dangerous wing, with 10 of her 13 groundstroke winners coming from that side.
Serving down 5-4, Gauff was forced to save two set points to hold, but after forcing the tiebreak, the American played a cleaner decider to seal the win after 1 hour and 42 minutes.