That’s it for today. If you missed anything, here’s a recap:
A quick look ahead to Day 4 now. In the first match of the night session at the Rod Laver Arena, Novak Djokovic will take on Frenchman Enzo Couacaud in round two. As for Andy Murray, he’s scheduled to be the second match on at the Margaret Court night session. In other words, good timing for British viewers. You can follow Muzza’s attempts to reach round three on our Thursday blog.
A quick look at the Norrie v Lestienne stats:
Norrie led the ace count 17-0 and had 58 winners to the Frenchman’s 41. Norrie’s 65% 1st serve % will need to improve as the tournament progresses.
Norrie beats Lestienne in four sets!
Norrie wins 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3
Norrie serves for the game. Does Lestienne have more random acts of defiance and inspiration up his sleeve? The Frenchman saves one match point but can’t dig out Norrie’s crosscourt slug and the British no 1 is through in a highly-entertaining contest. Lestienne was two points away from taking the third set but the flair was eventually drowned out by Norrie’s consistent hitting.
Norrie is just two games away from victory now and moves 30-15 ahead on the Lestienne serve. The Frenchman’s feet have stopped moving and he drills a forehand into the net to give Norrie break point. Lestienne is in control of the next rally but drives a forehand volley into the net and Norrie is on the brink after moving 5-2 ahead.
Norrie v Lestienne is the last match out there now. Two seeds have just come through narrowly. In the women’s, Danielle Collins (13) completes a dramatic win over Karolina Muchova by taking the decider 7-6 (10) while, in the men’s, Hubert Hurkacz (10th seed) takes out Lorenzo Sonego 6-3 in the fifth.
Back on Court 13, Norrie holds to lead 4-3 in the fourth.
Norrie must think Lestienne is there for the taking but the Frenchman still keeps pulling random inspiration out of the hat just when you think he might be done. Lestienne saves three break points, stays on the front foot to win advantage and somehow completes the hold. 3-3!
Lestienne is rattled and spends most of Norrie’s next service game talking at thin air, especially after a drop shot hits the net. An easy hold for Norrie, who leads 3-2 in the fourth.
The errors are creeping in to Lestienne’s game and another mistake sends the fourth game of the third set to deuce. Norrie keeps pounding away and earns a break point as a rather static Lestienne drifts a forehand wide. But the Frenchman doesn’t lack for inspiration and finds three winners to hold. 2-2.
Over on the Margaret Court Court (indulge me), we’re into a final-set tie-break between Collins and Muchova. The American has the edge 4-2 as they change ends.
A testing hold for Norrie puts him 2-1 up in the third. An untimely double fault gives Lestienne break point which Norrie saves, after another dodgy ball toss, with a winner down the line. Then Norrie lets out a primal scream, most unlike him, to gift Lestienne another chance. Once more he saves it, this time thanks to a well-directed second serve to the body. The danger passes as Lestienne twice goes long to gift Norrie the game.
Lestienne sometimes gives the impression he could buckle under Norrie’s consistent hitting but, just when you think that, he’ll bludgeon a forehand winner down the line. With one such stroke he levels the fourth set at 1-1.
Norrie is all-business now. He’s winning the longer rallies while Lestienne has now resorted to mercurial drop shots to keep his score ticking over. But then, another twist. Norrie temporarily loses his ball toss which is all very odd and he needs five goes at throwing it up straight when poised at deuce. Somehow he muddles through to hold serve.
Just two other matches going on right now as the clock ticks past 00.45 in Melbourne. In the men’s, Hubert Hurkacz has won the fourth set 6-3 to send his match against Lorenzo Sonego into a decider.
In the women’s second round, it’s 4-4 in the final set between American 13th seed Danielle Collins and Czech Karolina Muchova.
Norrie wins the third set 7-6 (2) to go 2-1 up on Lestienne
He’s done it! Norrie was staring down the barrel in the third but his greater accuracy and reliability in the latter stages of that set give him a 2-1 lead as he wins the tie-break 7-2.
Norrie is now more consistent than Constant, the Frenchman finally yielding in a lengthy rally to slip 2-5 down. Another unforced error gives Norrie a 6-2 lead and four set points!
Norrie bangs down an ace as the first three points of the tie-break go with serve. Lestienne then finds the net when reaching slightly for a backhand and the Frenchman is in a spot of bother here at 1-3 down. Lestienne pings a winner but Norrie serves another ace to lead 4-2 as they swap ends.
Lestienne whacks the hoarding behind him as he gets frustrated in Norrie’s service game. The Brit holds to 15 and we have ourselves a third-set tie-break.
Lestienne waltzes back to his chair after holding to love in game 11 of the fifth. That was most welcome at this stage of an intriguing third set. Over to you again Norrie.
And on we go thanks to a Norrie hold. Norrie smashes after a Lestienne drop shot doesn’t come off two strokes earlier and, from there, he bangs down some heavy serves to complete the fightback from 2-5 to 5-5.
Norrie breaks to stay in the set! The duo trade winners to reach 30-30 before Norrie plunders one down the line to give himself a break point. And then another forehand crosscourt winner and, lo and behold, a rejuvenated Norrie has broken back. Where did that come from?! 4-5 in the third and Norrie about to serve.
Norrie christens the new balls with a double fault and Lestienne saunters 30-0 ahead. Norrie responds by taking the next three points before diverting a forehand volley into the net. Deuce turns to ‘Game Norrie’ thanks to two beefy serves but Lestienne will now be serving for the set at 5-3.
Elsewhere, men’s 29th seed Seb Korda has completed a straights set win over Yosuke Watanuki.
Lestienne makes it nine of the last 11 games as he holds to love with a swinging serve which Norrie pulls to square leg: a decent shot at the nearby MCG but not much good here. It’s 5-2 to Lestienne in the third.
Norrie pulls one back thanks to strong serving in the sixth. That cuts Lestienne’s third-set lead to 2-4 as we approach the two-hour mark.
Constant Lestienne looks like one of those natural eye-hand types who’s probably good at every sport he tries: rugby (scrum-half I reckon), golf, boules. He saunters through his next service game to cruise 4-1 up in the third. With Lestienne in this sort of nonchalant mood, it’s going to be difficult for Norrie to turn this set, and indeed the match, around.
Thanks Tom. Has the pendulum swung back in Norrie’s favour? Maybe not when you watch Lestienne launch a forehand pass that can only be described as “traction engine” in power to reach 30-30. More brutal hitting from the Frenchman takes him to break point and he seals it as Norrie goes long again. One set all but Lestienne leads 3-1 in the third.
Norrie breaks back. Better from Norrie, who gets himself a break point and converts it, and Lestienne makes a couple of errors for the first time in a while and we’re suddenly back on serve. 2-1. Talking of breaks, David’s back from his so I’ll hand you back. Bye.
Lestienne breaks Norrie yet again. Lestienne sends a superb skimming low forehand winner to the corner of the court to put early pressure on Norrie’s serve but Norrie brings it back to 30-all. but a dismal overhit forehand grants Lesteinne a break point, which he converts after a gruelling back-of-court rally. He’s now won six games in a row and leads 2-0 in the third set.
The well-refreshed “En-ger-land” chants of an hour or so are nowhere to be heard now, as Lestienne takes only a couple of minutes to win the first game of the third set on his serve. Big service game coming up for the currently ragged-looking No 11 seed Norrie.
Lestienne wins the second set against Norrie 6-3
Constant Lestienne cruises through the ninth game of the set to level the match, winning it to love in the blink of an eye. Cameron Norrie has to find another level here, against a 30-year-old opponent who’s never gone this far in a grand slam before.
Can Lestienne build on a break the way he failed to earlier in the set? He can but he’s made to work hard for it, taken to two deuces, but he prevails for 5-3. A key hold.
Victoria Azarenka doesn’t appear to be hanging about, romping through the first set 6-1 against the Argentinian Nadia Podoroska. While Lorenzo Sonego is now two sets to one up on Hubert Hurkacz, winning the third 6-2. And Shapovolov has completed a 6-3, 7-6, 7-5 win over Daniel.
The pendulum swings again as Lestienne races to 0-40 on Norrie’s serve. The Briton saves the first two but returns Lestienne’s forehand passing shot into the net and the Frenchman has the break at 4-3. This one could be going deep into the wee small hours. It’s 20 to midnight in Melbourne.
Norrie seems to have put that little blip behind him, breezing through his service game then winning the first two points on Lestienne’s serve. A couple of unforced errors ensue though before Norrie earns a break point, which Lestienne saves with a brilliantly disguised drop shot. He then goes on to hold after Norrie misjudges a return. A possible opportunity missed – 3-3, second set, and Norrie leads by one set to love.
Another scan around the courts: Hurkacz is in a bit bother in the third set against Sonego, the Italian breaking him early. Sonego leads 3-1 and it’s one set all. Denis Shapovolov is two sets up and 4-4 in the third set against Taro Daniel, and the women’s No 29 seed, Qinwen Zheng of China, is staring down the barrel against the American Bernarda Pera, 4-6 and 3-5 down.
Norrie breaks back immediately for 2-2. Norrie pings a crunching forehand down the line before Lestienne responds with a couple of strong first serves and a tremendous passing shot of an encroaching Norrie that take him to 40-15. Norrie responds with a stunning backhand winner on the run from way behind the baseline and a forceful forehand to take it to deuce. He then dictates from the net to earn a break point. A wayward return squanders it before another pinpoint volley at the net earns another, which is converted this time with another angled low drop shot. An excellent response from Norrie. 2-2
Lestienne breaks. Norrie is pegged back to deuce again, twice this time, on his service game, a couple of awry overhits costing him and Lestienne pushing his opponent skilfully around the back of the court. The Frenchman then earns a break point when Norrie sends a forehand wide. He converts it straight away after an absorbing back-of-court exchange ends with Norrie sending a running forehand wide. That was a wayward service game from the British player and Lestienne deserved reward for the way he’s worked his way back in to the match. He leads 2-1 in the second set, with Norrie a set up.
Lestienne holds serve for 1-1, though Norrie wins a couple of impressive points, dominating the Frenchman’s second serve with a brutal back-of-court and then showing a deft drop-shot and volley at the net. And I share Dave’s discombobulation at the distant camera angle.
Constant Lestienne made Cam Norrie work pretty hard to win his first service game of the second set, taking him to deuce, but the Briton prevailed. He’s a set and a game up.
Tsitsipas beats Hijikata 6-3, 6-0, 6-2
Thanks David. And I’ll kick off with the unsurprising confirmation of Stefanos Tsitsipas’s cruise into the third round, a victory that never looked in doubt. Elsewhere, Lorenzo Sonego has won the second set tiebreak against the No 10 seed, Hubert Hurkacz, to level that match at one set all. And Sebastian Korda of the US is two sets up against Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki.
Before the start of the second set, security guards tell some of the boozed-up Brits to do one. They’d just started a tiresome warble of “tennis is coming home” so probably best for everyone. Lestienne looks pleased about their removal. Talking of which, I’m going to remove myself and hand you to Tom Davies for more live coverage.
Norrie wins the first set against Lestienne
Cam Norrie wins the first set 6-3 after a second straight break. Some of Lestienne’s shots are, shall we say, incredibly casual. It’s almost as if he’s playing an exhibition or having a lark in the park. Anyway, Norrie has his game face on and wins that set in 41 minutes.
The camera angle on Court 13 is that elongated view I always associate with Court 2 at Wimbledon. I’m never quite sure if it makes things look more impressive or actually less so. Regardless, Norrie is 5-3 up and now has a set point.
Play resumes and Norrie wins a lengthy rally – secured with a lob which caused Lestienne to hesitate and then react too late – to secure a first break: 4-3 to the Englishman. Cries of “Eng-er-lund” in the crowd from some Brits who may have consumed a few by now. After all, it’s coming up to 11pm at Melbourne Park.
Norrie has two break points in the seventh and wants to carry on. But will the rain stop him? More cleaning of the court as the umpire comes over to check on conditions.
Time for some more British action and let’s join Cam Norrie’s match against Constant Lestienne. It’s 3-3 in the opening set, the match going with serve so far.
Just a break in play as the ball boys and girls wipe the court clean. Initially, we thought it could be sweat; actually it could be rain. Hmmm.
Women’s singles: Danielle Collins, the 13th seed from the United States, is currently 3-2 down to Czech Karolina Muchova in the opening set.
There could be a surprise there and we’ve just seen Muchova’s compatriot, Petra Kvitova, crash out. The 15th seed lost in straight sets (5-7, 4-6) to Anhelina Kalinina. Two-time Wimbledon champ Kvitova lost in the final of the 2019 Australian Open but this is the third straight year that she hasn’t progressed beyond the second round.
It’s a record crowd of 31,000 for the night session at the Aussie Open apparently. It beats the previous high of 28,000. Both Andrew and Roy Castle will enjoy that stat.
This is relentless stuff from Tsitsipas. He’s powered through the second set against Hijikata without dropping a game. That’s 6-3, 6-0 so far although at least the Aussie local has ended the rot by winning his first game in eight by holding serve at the start of the third.
If you’re just dipping in to the Australian Open, a reminder from a couple of days ago Nick Kyrgios was forced to withdraw from his home Slam due to injury.
“[This is] one of the most important tournaments of my career. Hasn’t been easy at all,” Kyrgios said of the decision.
“I’m obviously extremely disappointed.”
Kyrgios has a parameniscal cyst growing in his left meniscus, which is the result of a small tear in his lateral meniscus… whatever that means.
Men’s singles: Hubert Hurkacz, the 25-year-old Pole seeded 10th, is 6-3 and 2-1 up on Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego as that match approaches the hour mark.
That famous sporting family, the Kordas, have this trophy in their ever-growing cabinet after dad Petr won this tournament in 1998. Petr triumphed 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 in the final against Marcelo Rios and, appropriately enough, son Sebastian has won the first set 6-2 in his second-round clash against Japanese qualifier Yosuke Watanuki.
Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas won the first set against Rinky Hijikata 6-2 and has an early break in the second. He’s just held serve to go 2-0 up. Plenty of support for local man Hijikata, who is giving it a go, but you sense he’ll have some fun moments but eventually get outclassed.
Medvedev beats Millman in straight sets!
No worries for Daniil Medvedev as he comes through his second-round match against Aussie veteran John Millman in straight sets. Former world No 1 Medvedev was pushed in the first set but won the next two with the loss of just four games to close out a 7-6, 6-2, 6-2 win at the Margaret Court Arena in 2hrs 19mins.
Looking at the stats, Medvedev served 10 aces and hit 33 winners.
Here’s the very charming and likable Coco Gauff on her TikTok video. Mom and Dad in the crowd chuckling away.
If you missed it, Emma Raducanu’s Australian Open hopes were ended by Coco Gauff earlier today. Tumaini Carayol was at Melbourne Park to witness a much-anticipated match that got better as it went on.
A couple of emails. Regarding naming issues, Tom Young notes: “Brian Close Court could also have been witty option.”
Meanwhile, Peter Hanson writes from Australia: “I can’t believe Channel 9 would send the Gauff v Raducanu match to its streaming service mid match.” Deborah Remfry has a similar complaint.
British No 1 Cameron Norrie, seeded 11th this week, is in action at the Kia Arena later today. He’ll take on Frenchman Constant Lestienne following the completion of the women’s second-round clash between Olivia Gadecki and Marta Kostyuk.
Norrie, memorably, reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon last summer but his Australian Open record is weak: three first-round exits in four appearances and a run to the third round in 2021.
At the Margaret Court Arena, men’s seventh seed Danii Medvedev is two sets to nil up on local man John Millman. He took the opener 7-5, cruised through the next 6-2 and is 2-1 up in the third.
Medvedev has dropped from world No 1 to his current ranking of eighth but he’s been the beaten finalist in the last two years here so will fancy his chances of going deep and adding to his 2021 US Open title.
On Rod Laver, third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is just starting out against Aussie youngster Rinky Hijikata. The Greek has held his opening service game to love.
Tsitsipas could go to world No 1 by the end of the tournament so he’ll have to keep that out of his mind. The 24-year-old from Greece has been knocked out at the semi-final stage in three of the last four years at the Aussie Open so will be hoping to put that right as he goes in search of a first Grand Slam title.
We’ll go around the courts in a moment. I always wish the stadiums in Australia were described as Courts not Arenas. Then we’d have the Margaret Court Court. Living in West Yorkshire, I’m reminded of that missed opportunity daily when I drive past Brian Close Walk, a small housing estate near Baildon. The Rutles had it right with Che Stadium.
Also in the women’s draw, top seed Iga Swiatek came through her second-round match today. Full report here.
What does the 18-year-old Gauff plan to do tomorrow? “Probably doubles but, if not, playing cards with my parents or embarrassing them on TikTok!”
Coco Gauff reacts to her win over Raducanu. “I just told myself to hang in there and I was playing really good tennis towards the end of the match and, honestly, the whole match was great.
“In the beginning, you know, I think we both started off rocky but I think the match was good quality for the most part considering the circumstances. Both of us were nervous and this was a long-anticipated match-up since the draw came out so I’m glad this was a good match for you guys.
“Kudos to Emma. I know she had a tough week in Auckland so it was good for her to play at this level after such a, I guess, scary moment.”
Gauff beats Raducanu in straight sets!
Gauff 6-3, 7-6 (4) Raducanu
Gauff wins the tie-break to knock out Raducanu!
Raducanu wins the opening point and looks set to go 2-1 in front in the tie-break but loses a 17-stroke rally. Great perseverance from Gauff.
Raducanu finds the net to give Gauff the mini-break and then goes wide with a forehand after again dominating the rally. So frustrating. It’s 4-2 to Gauff as the players switch ends.
Raducanu continues to hit with abandon but finds the top of the net from the Gauff serve and it’s 5-2 to the American who is now just two points away. Raducanu then swings a forehand way too long and it’s four match points for Gauff.
Raducanu saves the first with a backhand drive down the line and then Gauff blows the next with a backhand into the net. She still has one more serve though and eventually takes the match with a lob which Raducanu can only paddle back into the net.
Gauff 6-3, 6-6* Raducanu (*denotes next server)
Gauff moves to 30-0 before Raducanu thrashes away a volley at the net in impressive style. Then a crunching backhand winner from Raducanu takes it to 30-30. Gauff needs a big serve now and gets one to avoid set point and, despite being on the back foot, wins the next via a Raducanu error. We’re going to a second-set tie-break.
*Gauff 6-3, 5-6 Raducanu (*denotes next server)
Raducanu serves a first ace of the match to move 30-0 in front in game 11 and Gauff gives her three chances to close out a 6-5 lead with a rushed forehand. Another Gauff error, this time on the backhand side, and Raducanu has a very easy hold to love. Most welcome at this stage of the match.
Gauff 6-3, 5-5 Raducanu* (*denotes next server)
From looking on the brink, Gauff now has to hold serve to avoid losing the set. Raducanu tries to force matters though – perhaps unnecessarily given Gauff’s mistakes – and the American moves to 40-15 without too much sweat. A third double fault hints at a wobble and it’s confirmed by an overhit groundstroke that goes long. Deuce. Yet another Gauff mistake gives Raducanu set point but the Brit is too eager and launches a backhand long. A brilliant return secures a second set point but, agonisingly, an ambitious drop shot catches the top of the net and falls back on her own side. Gauff’s forehand has turned to putty all of a sudden and Raducanu then saves two game points as the deuce count racks up. Gauff gets rid of some frustration with an easy smash and a heavy serve finally secures the game and 5-5. So close for Raducanu but Gauff somehow came through.
*Gauff 6-3, 4-5 Raducanu (*denotes next server)
Raducanu drops the first point of her service game but twirls a backhand into the corner for 15-15 and moves to 30-15 with a backhand volley at the net. And perhaps there are signs that her service speed is picking up too. Gauff dumps another forehand into the net and then goes long and Raducanu has now won three games in a row. She’s back in the match; the momentum is turning.
Gauff 6-3, 4-4 Raducanu* (*denotes next server)
Raducanu breaks! Raducanu is hanging in there but needs a break, and fast. And could this be a chance. She goes on the attack and a backhand winner from a Gauff slice takes the Brit to 0-30. A Gauff double fault and it’s 0-40. Three break points! And she only needs one as Gauff, looking tight, drives a forehand into the net. All square at 4-4 in the second.
*Gauff 6-3, 4-3 Raducanu (*denotes next server)
Raducanu may have trouble on her serve but she can still swing freely from the ground and that helps her take a 30- 0 lead. Gauff’s lob briefly changes the momentum but the American goes wide to slip 15-40 down. The seventh seed smashes a forehand winner but, somewhat carelessly, loops out a backhand to give Raducanu the hold.
Gauff 6-3, 4-2 Raducanu* (*denotes next server)
A little clenched fist from Raducanu as she takes the opening point of Gauff’s serve but hopes of 0-30 are ended by a forehand into the net. Gauff slams down her second ace of the match, clubs another heavy serve for 40-15 and completes the triple whammy with another ace.
*Gauff 6-3, 3-2 Raducanu (*denotes next server)
Something is definitely up with Raducanu’s stomach and it continues to reduce her service power. She loses the first point but levels at 15-15 with a drop shot from out of the blue. Gauff, surprisingly, twangs a backhand well wide and Raducanu turns on the power with a series of heavy groundstrokes to reach 40-15. Gauff’s service return goes long and that’s game. Raducanu is still a break down though in this second set.
Gauff 6-3, 3-1 Raducanu* (*denotes next server)
Gauff is sensing the kill you feel and rushes Raducanu into a mistake in the opening point of game four. A bouncing second serve again forces Raducanu to rather lash at the ball and the forehand goes wide. Two more straightforward points and it’s perhaps the easiest hold of the match.
*Gauff 6-3, 2-1 Raducanu (*denotes next server)
Both players have upped their levels and Raducanu is making more mistakes as she’s forced into finding even higher gears. It’s taking a toll and a lame double fault gives Gauff three break points. Raducanu shows fight by winning the next two and but it’s apparent that she’s pressing her stomach from time to time as if there’s a problem. It’s perhaps having an effect on her serve which is lacking power and another double gives Gauff the break.
Gauff 6-3, 1-1 Raducanu* (*denotes next server)
A bit of fortune with a net cord and a series of driving groundstrokes, eventually forcing a Gauff mistake, take Raducanu to 30-30. But the American has power and wellies a backhand crosscourt which is just too lively. Then another fierce rally, Raducanu eventually blinking first and hammering a backhand into the net. Gauff holds for 1-1.
*Gauff 6-3, 0-0 Raducanu (*denotes next server)
Holding serve is imperative for Raducanu in this opening game of set two and she swiftly moves to 40-0 after another wrong-footing forehand. Gauff finds the net and that’ll do.
Gauff wins the first set v Raducanu 6-3
Gauff 6-3 Raducanu* (*denotes next server)
Gauff takes the first two points but Raducanu’s fierce forehand has the American scrambling: 30-15. Gauff puts her hand to her mouth in semi-shock as she makes an unforced error for 30-30 and another goes long to give Raducanu a break point. Gauff saves it with a crosscourt backhand, prompting a shout of “come on”, and she repeats the cry after holding off another. Raducanu claims a third break point by ending the best rally of the match with a forehand down the line but Gauff’s big serve keeps the Brit at bay once again. Raducanu’s fearless return denies Gauff a first set point but Guaff’s serving is just too heavy and the American deservedly wraps up the first set.
*Gauff 5-3 Raducanu (*denotes next server)
Not exactly a packed crowd on Rod Laver tonight although a few are wandering back in now. Raducanu has to hold to stay in this first set and wins the first point as Gauff goes long with a backhand. Raducanu is still going after her shots and has Gauff on the runaround before putting away a wrong-footing backhand for 30-0. This is better! Another backhand winner moves Raducanu to 40-0 before Gauff clubs a forehand at high speed for one of her own. But this is Raducanu’s game and Gauff finds the net on the next point as Raducanu holds to 15.
Gauff 5-2 Raducanu* (*denotes next server)
Raducanu whips away a backhand crosscourt winner to secure 15-30 and sniffs a second straight break back. But there are just too many errors creeping in from the Brit and Gauff isn’t having to work as hard as she might for points. The American wins the next three and moves 5-2 in front.
*Gauff 4-2 Raducanu (*denotes next server)
A third straight break! Great reactions at the net from Gauff after Raducanu drives at her body and, boosted, the American moves to 0-30. Pressure on the Raducanu serve once again. Gaugh senses a kill and for a fourth successive game we have break points. Raducanu has two to save but can only manage one as her forehand loops just too long at 30-40.
Gauff 3-2 Raducanu* (*denotes next server)
Raducanu breaks back! Raducanu shows her fighting qualities and moves to 0-30 with a forehand at the net and a high looping backhand volley which Gauff can’t quite believe lands in. Can she break back immediately? Gauff’s heavy serving and huge backhand help her win the next three points but she drives a forehand volley into the net for deuce. Raducanu secures a break point that Gauff does well to dodge but the Brit’s aggression forces the American to double fault on the next.
*Gauff 3-1 Raducanu (*denotes next server)
Gauff breaks! The seventh seed’s backhand really is a weapon and it’s starting to do damage now. It helps the American race to 0-40 and on the cusp of the first break. Gauff dumps a forehand into the net but Raducanu rushes a backhand and loses her serve to 15.
Rafael Nadal is out! Yes, we’ve already had drama today with the men’s top seed and defending champion falling in straight sets to Mackenzie McDonald. Tumaini Carayol was at Melbourne Park to see Nadal’s body betray him once more.
Gauff 1-2 Raducanu* (*denotes next server)
Gauff’s forehand is her slightly weaker side and two unforced errors give Raducanu a 30-15 advantage before she secures two break points with a fierce drive down the line. Gauff survives the first with an ace before a clever, bouncing second serve into Raducanu’s body takes game three to deuce. Gauff wins the next two points, closing out with a heavy serve that Raducanu can’t deal with. 2-1 to the American in the opener.
*Gauff 1-1 Raducanu (*denotes next server)
A rather wild double fault makes it an inauspicious start for Raducanu in her opening service game and Gauff gets to 0-30 before a heavy second serve from the 2021 US Open champion secures 15-30. From there, Raducanu starts to unleash, winning the next four points to level at 1-1.
Gauff 1-0 Raducanu* (*denotes next server)
Raducanu wins the toss and chooses to receive first. Both players unleash punchy groundstrokes in a lively opening rally before Raducanu finds the net. The Gauff serve is quick and accurate and the American takes the opening game comfortably for just the loss of a point.
Gauff and Raducanu are now hitting up. For some context, the American is favourite with the bookies but we don’t have much head-to-head form to go on. In fact there is none. Raducanu and Gauff have never even practised together never mind played a competitive match.
Good morning/evening! It’s just gone 8am UK time and 7pm Melbourne time and we’re not far away from Emma Raducanu’s second-round match against seventh seed Coco Gauff. Indeed, as I write, they’re walking into the Rod Laver Era. Raducanu has strapping on her left ankle but she’s played down that injury ahead of the match. We’ve already had drama on day three which we’ll get to shortly. Okay, let’s go!