British teenager Emma Radukanu defeated veteran American Sloane Stephens 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 in a thrilling first leg of the Australian Open on Tuesday.
Radukanu, who shot to fame with a stellar run to the US Open title from the qualifying tournament in September and single-handedly ran in the first set without losing a set in his fourth professional tournament, closing it with just 17 minutes, Just fell Four Digits.
But Stephens, a former world number three and 2017 US Open champion, found her rhythm and game to capture the second set 2-2, winning four games as 17th seed Radukanu Key began to make mistakes.
Chances are starting to look bleak for the 19-year-old, whose campaign leading up to his Australian Open debut was far from ideal, after contracting Covid-19 and suffering a hard-fought opening match at a preliminary tournament. Sydney.
But Britain showed the same coolness under the pressure that led them to the title in New York, calmed down and ready to dominate the final set with precise back-court strikes.
When Radukanu was leading 0–5, Stephens managed to avoid losing without winning a game while maintaining his serve, but made no return and despite reaching his sixth double fault in the first match, Radukanu closed out the win in his last game of serve. Point.