Emma Raducanu and Cameron Norrie win at the Australian Open

Emma Raducanu and Cameron Norrie win at the Australian Open

Emma Raducanu and Cameron Norrie win at the Australian Open

Emma Raducanu made a strong comeback from injury, advancing to the second round of the Australian Open with a straight-set victory.

On the first day in Melbourne, the British number one defeated Germany’s Tamara Korpatsch 6-3, 6-2.

Raducanu, 20, rolled her ankle in Auckland 11 days ago, and her beaming smile after sealing victory demonstrated her relief at passing her first test.

Cameron Norrie, the British men’s number one, also advanced in straight sets.

Norrie, seeded 11th, advanced from the first round for the second time in five attempts after defeating teenage French wildcard Luca van Assche 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 6-3.

The 27-year-old left-hander had a quick turnaround after losing in the Auckland final to French veteran Richard Gasquet on Saturday.

“I was nervous, but I was able to relax in the second set and finish a tough game. Not my best level, but I’ll improve “said Norrie, who earlier this month defeated Rafael Nadal in the United Cup for his biggest win of his career.

“After that difficult first set, I enjoyed the match.”

The only two British players to win at Melbourne Park were Norrie and Raducanu, with Raducanu now set to face American seventh seed Coco Gauff in round two.


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Rising star Jack Draper was defeated by Rafael Nadal of Spain, while Kyle Edmund fell to Italian 15th seed Jannik Sinner 6-4 6-0 6-2.

Edmund, 28, reached the semi-finals in 2018 but is now attempting to rebuild his career following a knee injury that required three operations before he was able to return to the tour last year.

Edmund, who was using a protected ranking, had another difficult draw at a Grand Slam after facing eventual runner-up Casper Ruud at last year’s US Open.

Harriet Dart, the only other British representative in the women’s singles, was defeated 7-5, 6-1 by Swiss 32nd seed Jil Teichmann.

Gauff, 18, is one of the favourites to win the women’s singles at Melbourne Park, having won her first match 6-1 6-4 over Czech opponent Katerina Siniakova.

Jessica Pegula, Gauff’s doubles partner and a favorite to win her first major singles title, made an even bigger statement with a 6-0 6-1 victory over Romania’s Jaqueline Cristian in 59 minutes.

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When Raducanu left the Auckland court in tears, her chances of competing in the season’s first major looked bleak.

Physical issues have plagued the Briton since she was catapulted to superstardom by winning the 2021 US Open as a teenage qualifier, and she worked hard in pre-season on building her body to withstand the rigors of the WTA Tour after hiring Andy Murray’s former fitness coach Jez Green.

So when she rolled her left ankle in what she described as a “freak accident,” it was a bitter blow.

Raducanu’s movement improved in practice at Melbourne Park as the week progressed, but the true indication of her condition would be revealed only during a match.

“Everything I’ve done in the last week has been very controlled,” she explained.

“So I had to put it to the test in a real match, with the unpredictability and just getting used to it at first. It felt great.

“You know it’s there, and if anything, it relieves any tension.

“That’s because you’re, like, I did so well to get on the court, and my team did so well. It’s a huge accomplishment for all of us.”

Raducanu appeared cautious at first when she stretched out to the backhand side and had to put weight on the injured foot.

After a shaky start littered with unforced errors, the pair exchanged five breaks of serve before Raducanu gained confidence.

Korpatsch, 27, is ranked one place higher than Raducanu, but she lacks Raducanu’s pedigree and was making her Australian Open main-draw debut.

A double fault from the German, who is more at ease on clay and appeared nervous throughout, set up a match point for Raducanu, which he took when Korpatsch hit a forehand long.

Raducanu celebrated by twirling on the court, but she knows she faces a much tougher test when she plays Gauff on Wednesday.

“I might as well enjoy all the hard work we’ve put in to get here,” Raducanu said.

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