Emma Raducanu can swing freely and put herself “back on the map” by defeating Coco Gauff within the second spherical of the Australian Open, based on John McEnroe.
The two largest younger stars within the ladies’s recreation have been given the primetime slot of the evening session on Rod Laver Arena for his or her first profession assembly.
With rivalries distinctly missing, the game will certainly hope that there are a lot of extra matches to return between the pair, who’re pleasant off court docket having first met as juniors.
Raducanu was nonetheless enjoying at that stage when Gauff launched herself onto the worldwide stage by reaching the fourth spherical of Wimbledon as a 15-year-old in 2019.
She has banked plenty of expertise since and is now a longtime top-10 participant whereas Raducanu shot previous Gauff by successful the US Open however has discovered the dearth of a secure basis an actual problem.
McEnroe, working as a pundit for Eurosport, mentioned: “It will probably be the first time in a couple of years where Emma Raducanu won’t be feeling the type of pressure she’s been feeling since she won the US Open.
“So that’s probably a good thing, to allow her to be more free and do her thing, because to me she’s the type of player, the type of person and the type of talent that we could use in the top 10.
“I think Coco is in the better position right now to make a deep run and I think it’s going to be soon that she’s going to win a major event, in the next year or two at the most. To me she goes in as a heavy favourite.
“She seems to be playing better and better and serving more consistently than she has done. I would say that it’s a match she should win, but a match that could put Raducanu back on the map again, which would be good for her.”
Raducanu’s first-round victory over German Tamara Korpatsch was simply her fourth at a grand slam since her phenomenal run to the title in New York.
Having gone into the match with issues over an ankle damage suffered in her first occasion of the season in Auckland, Raducanu produced a robust efficiency after overcoming preliminary hesitancy.
Her forehand, which had develop into passive at instances final season, was an actual weapon once more, with the 20-year-old trying to step into the court docket at each alternative.
Raducanu, who has spoken glowingly about her fledgling partnership with new German coach Sebastian Sachs, mentioned: “My off-season, the tennis part was like six days (because of a wrist injury).
“I did not really train. But I did a lot in the gym and I think that my forehand is a real weapon of mine. It’s going to take some fine tuning but, going forward, I really see myself loving that side and I really do.
“I think just at the moment I’m swinging more freely in general it probably shows in my forehand maybe.”
If there was a signature shot of Raducanu’s New York success it was her searing return and Gauff is anticipating her serve to take some punishment because the British participant chases the primary top-10 victory of her profession.
“I’m just going to have to be ready and accept some return winners that might come my way,” mentioned the American, who continues to be solely 18. “I think it will be a good match-up for both of us. I’m excited.”
Gauff had a wonderful 2022, reaching her first grand slam last on the French Open, shifting into the highest 10 and changing into world primary in doubles.
Vulnerability remained in her serve and forehand however the teenager was delighted with the work she did in pre-season – which included boxing – and has seemed very sturdy in her first matches of the 12 months, successful the title in Auckland and defeating Katerina Siniakova in spherical one.
Watch each match from the Australian Open dwell and unique on discovery+ and Eurosport