Emma Raducanu defeats former US Open champion Sloane Stephens at the Australian Open

The 2021 US Open champion faced the 2017 champion in the first round of the Australian Open, and Emma Raducanu rediscovered her winning ways.

Emma Raducanu has found wins hard to come by since her extraordinary US Open victory last year, with her latest slump in the Sydney International leaving many worried about her chances in Melbourne.

But the 19-year-old answered her critics in fine fashion on Tuesday afternoon, beating America's Sloane Stephens 6-0 2-6 6-1.

She started superbly, only dropping four points in the first set, although that can equally be attributed to Stephens' torrid display.

However, Stephens composed herself for the second set and performed at a much higher standard to level the match.

That set up Raducanu's first-ever Grand Slam decider, but she handled the pressure with ease.

While the 6-1 scoreline of the third set suggests Raducanu eased to victory, it couldn't be further from the truth, with the Briton having to dig deep and battle her way into the second round.

Following her win, Raducanu said: "I just want to thank everyone for coming out and staying so late.

"Both me and Sloane really put everything out there. I thought it was a really high-quality match with lots of great rallies so I'm really happy to have come through against such a great champion.

"It was a tough match-up for a first round. Her athleticism is really up there. I was having to work extremely hard for my points but I'm so happy to have got through.

"I was very pleased coming out for the first set, I thought I played some very good tennis. Of course there was going to be some adversity.

"I'm happy to have regrouped. In the third I don't think the score really reflected it. I was really feeling it."

Raducanu will take on Montenegro's Danka Kovinic in the second round, with former world No. 1 Simona Halep a potential third-round opponent.

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