By Jonathan Jurejko
(BBC) – Britain’s Emma Raducanu showed quality and resilience to beat American Sloane Stephens in three sets for a spot in the Australian Open second round.
On her senior debut in Melbourne, the US Open champion won 6-0 2-6 6-1 against Stephens, another previous winner in New York.
Raducanu, seeded 17th, was sharp as she wrapped up the first set in 17 minutes before errors crept into her game.
Stephens took advantage to level but Raducanu reasserted control to win.
The 19-year-old will face Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic in the second round on Thursday.
Raducanu dropped her racquet on the court in what is becoming a trademark celebration, illustrating how much it meant to win her first Grand Slam match since Flushing Meadows.
“Both me and Sloane put everything out there and it was a very good match,” said Raducanu, who wrapped up victory shortly before midnight and thanked an excited crowd for staying.
“We had some great rallies and I’m happy to come through against such a great champion.”