MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Sloane Stephens is aware of solely too properly the vagaries of life as an expert tennis participant and provided some sage recommendation to Emma Raducanu after being overwhelmed by the British teenage sensation within the first spherical of the Australian Open on Tuesday.
The rusty American was overwhelmed 6-0 2-6 6-1 within the battle between a former U.S. Open champion and the present one who rocketed to stardom in astonishing style final September.
In some methods the match was a microcosm of what the 19-year-old Raducanu can expect over the course of the following few years as she makes an attempt to reside up to her feat of profitable the U.S. Open as a qualifier, with out dropping a set.
There was a sensational 17-minute first set by which she dropped solely 4 factors, then a worrying dip as errors crept into her recreation and a attainable defeat loomed.
In the tip, Raducanu confirmed nice maturity to regroup and dominate the deciding set, even when it was nearer than the scoreline urged.
Former world quantity three Stephens reached her first Grand Slam semi-final in Australia 9 years in the past and claimed the U.S. Open in 2017 as an unseeded participant simply a few months after getting back from practically a 12 months out with damage.
She additionally reached the 2018 French Open last however since then deep Grand Slam runs have proved elusive.
Asked what recommendation she would give Raducanu, Stephens mentioned the Briton have to be ready for the ups and downs.
“I might say, the one similar state of affairs is that we received the U.S. Open, however our conditions are very completely different,” Stephens, 28, advised reporters. “I feel she is carrying a complete nation.”
“And I feel her recreation type, how younger she is, it is slightly little bit of a special dynamic than I had.
“Because she is so younger it is positively an extended highway. She hasn’t been by a lot of something but, so there will certainly be some ups and downs and a few loopy experiences that occur all through, it is solely the start.”
Raducanu was taking part in solely her fourth senior match on the U.S. Open and is embarking on her first 12 months on Tour.
Her momentous victory has raised the expectation ranges sky excessive however the way in which she dealt along with her first Grand Slam match since her New York fairytale and her first match in opposition to a former Grand Slam champion was encouraging, particularly the poise she confirmed in her first deciding set at this degree.
“I feel 2022 is all about studying for me. Being in these conditions of profitable a set after which having to struggle in a decider is unquestionably simply all accumulating right into a financial institution of expertise that I can faucet into later down the road,” Raducanu mentioned. “Very comfortable right this moment I can add to that.
“I feel it is a terrific step ahead for me to come out right here and win my first match right here in Australia in opposition to Sloane.”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)