PA Sport Staff
Two of the brightest stars in the women’s game meet in the Australian Open second round as Emma Raducanu and Coco Gauff go head-to-head on Wednesday.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how the two match up.
Both players made their breakthrough at the All England Club with sensational runs that captured the hearts of the tennis world.
Gauff was barely 15 when she became the youngest female to qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon in 2019 and her fun did not stop there.
After beating Venus Williams in the first round, she made it through to the second week where she lost to eventual champion Simona Halep.
Raducanu introduced herself to the world in 2021. Aged 18 at the time, she had never even won a match on the WTA Tour before becoming the youngest Briton to reach the fourth round at SW19.
Emma’s fairytale of New York, Coco’s Paris pain
Two months after her Wimbledon run, Raducanu stunned the world by winning the US Open in one of the biggest shocks in sporting history.
Still only 18, the Briton became the first qualifier to emerge victorious in New York, winning 10 matches without dropping a set in just her second grand slam. It was an achievement that was so premature in her career and exploded her on to the world stage.
Gauff did not build on her SW19 breakthrough in quite the same way until she made the final of the French Open last year.
Now 18, the American was a good bet to win her maiden slam but came up against the impenetrable Iga Swiatek and lost out in straight sets.
Success on Tour
I am so thankful to win my 3rd @wta title and take a W at the first tournament of my 2023 season! Thank you @asbclassic for an amazing week. Most importantly thank you God for continuing to bless me in this life. I am so grateful for it all. Let’s keep going upwards<3 pic.twitter.com/i7ycRVBP5H
— Coco Gauff (@CocoGauff) January 8, 2023
While Raducanu has the edge in grand slams, Gauff has been far more successful on the WTA Tour.
With a world ranking of seven, Gauff is one of the most consistent performers across all surfaces and had won three WTA titles, including a warm-up tournament in New Zealand recently.
Raducanu had still not won a match on the WTA Tour by the time she won the US Open so she has had to do things backwards.
She endured an exceptionally tough first year on the Tour, suffering with constant injury problems, being unable to get past the quarter-final at an event and seeing her ranking plummet.
At their best, both women play fearless tennis.
Gauff is blessed with great athleticism and physicality which gives her power from the baseline and the ability to defend well. Her serve is a big weapon and her success in the doubles game makes her proficient at the net.
Raducanu’s success has come when her aggressive desire to hit winners has come off and she possesses an ability to hit anyone off the court.
Having not had a coach for much of her early career she has had to become tactically adept and problem-solve on her own, but she needs to stay fit.