Emma Raducanu in the first round of the 2023 Australian Open, Melbourne.
Emma Raducanu in the first round of the 2023 Australian Open, Melbourne | (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

Tennis | Australian Open 2023 | Emma Raducanu eases past Tamara Korpatsch to set up blockbuster with Coco Gauff

By Ros Satar

  • Emma Raducanu def. Tamara Korpatsch 6-3 6-2
  • Faces No. 7 seed Coco Gauff
  • First Meeting
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Emma Raducanu eased past Tamara Korpatsch after her ankle injury in Auckland, to set up a showdown with No. 7 seed Coco Gauff.


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Emma Raducanu def. Tamara Korpatsch 6-3 6-2

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All eyes were on Emma Raducanu’s strapped ankle as she took to the court in her opener against Tamara Korpatsch. After her tearful exit in Auckland, there were concerns she would not even get to this point, but after initially tentative training sessions, her movement was improving.

It was not all plain sailing though. Despite breaking the German in the first game, she was broken straight back, regaining the advantage by breaking once more. Raducanu was the first to hold to open up a slender lead with another brace of brakes peppering the score board. At the business end of the set, Raducanu broke once more to take the first set.

It was a lot more straightforward at the start of the second set. With an early break and 3-0 lead. Korpatsch mobilised herself to get a couple more games on the board, but Raducanu confidently broke once more to take the match.

As reported in Ausopen.com, Raducanu said: “Everything I’ve done has been quite controlled the last week. To test it out in a real match and with the unpredictability and stuff, just getting used to it in the beginning … but it felt good.

“If anything, it kind of alleviates any pressure, because you’re like ‘I’ve done so well to get myself onto the court, and my team has done so well’. It’s just a great achievement for all of us. Then for me to be out there … I might as well just enjoy all the hard work we’ve done to get myself here.”


Emma Raducanu v Coco Gauff [7] | H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Emma Raducanu v Coco Gauff [7] H2H: First Meeting
Australian Open Melbourne, Australia
Hard (O) Prize Money: AU$106,250
First night match on Rod Laver Arena, not before 7pm (8am GMT) Discovery+ Add-on via Amazon Prime

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Next up is the No. 7 seed Coco Gauff, who was also in Auckland, but survived the inclement weather that caused chaos to the schedule, as she won the title. It feels like Gauff has been around for ever, after making a stunning debut here in Melbourne but surely puts herself in the frame certainly for the second week if not the business end of the tournament.


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2023)

H2H: Emma Raducanu (WR 75) Coco Gauff (WR 7)
Tournament Previous Best R2 (2022) R4 (2020)
1st Serve Return Points Won % 38.4 42.9
Return Points Won % 48.3 50.0
Break Point Conversion % 40.5 41.3
Break Points Saved % 56.3 83.9
Total Points Won % 53.5 57.9

Given Raducanu’s truncated stay in Auckland, it is hardly surprising that this year’s stats leave her trailing behind Gauff. They are closely matched, although Gauff has a veru high percentage in deflecting break points.


Playing Styles & Prediction

While Raducanu’s progress last year was choppy, Gauff’s star was on the rise, making her first Slam final at Roland Garros. Both have an aggressive game style and Gauff keeps her composure remarkably well for one so young. She is good at figuring things out as she goes, but she will be up against Raducanu who shot to fame as the free-hitter who had no pressure all the way from qualies to the US Open title.

Gauff is the clear favourite, but this is essentially a free hit for a still essentially undercooked Raducanu. And Gauff sometimes does crumble when it comes to shot selection, and her sometimes wayward forehand can set itself up for punishment.

You feel Raducanu must win the first set to set the tone, and if she can take it to a decider, then it could be anyone’s but can that ankle stand up to the distance?

Prediction: Gauff in two sets.



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