Australian Open: Emma Raducanu’s streak ends, still advances

2022 Australian Open: Day 2
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Emma Raducanu saw her sets-won streak at majors snapped at 21, but hung on to win in her Australian Open debut.

Raducanu, who at the U.S. Open became the first qualifier to win a major, beat 2017 U.S. Open champ Sloane Stephens 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 to make the second round in Melbourne.

Raducanu rolled Stephens in a 17-minute first set, dropping just four points. She was broken three times in the second set before prevailing in the first three-set Grand Slam match of her career.

“2022 is all about learning for me,” Raducanu, 19, said. “Winning a set and then having to fight in a decider is definitely just all just accumulating into a bank of experience that I can tap into later on down the line.”


Last summer, the Brit Raducanu won all 20 sets between qualifying and the main draw en route to the U.S. Open title in just her second Grand Slam main draw. Raducanu then changed coaches and went 2-4 in six matches between the U.S. Open and Australian Open, the most recent a 6-0, 6-1 defeat to Elena Rybakina last week.

She gets 98th-ranked Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in round two and could face Simona Halep, a French Open and Wimbledon champion, in the third round.

Earlier Tuesday, U.S. Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez lost her Australian Open first-round match. Maddison Inglis, the 133rd-ranked Australian, upset the Canadian 6-4, 6-2.

“We had a good preseason. We worked hard. We improved my tennis game,” said Fernandez, who had eight winners to 30 unforced errors. “Unfortunately it did not show today.”

Also Tuesday, Andy Murray took out No. 21 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 in Murray’s first Australian Open match since a premature retirement tribute at the tournament in 2019.

No. 8 seed Casper Ruud withdrew with an ankle injury before his first-round match, opening up Murray’s section of the draw. Murray gets 120th-ranked Taro Daniel of Japan next and potentially 11th-seeded Italian Jannik Sinner in the third round.

The men’s and women’s No. 2 seeds had different days.

Russian Daniil Medvedev, the favorite after Novak Djokovic was deported, swept Swiss Henri Laaksonen 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (3) to reach a second-round date with Aussie Nick Kyrgios.

Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, who struggled serving leading into the tournament, had 12 double faults in her first round but still rallied past 128th-ranked Australian Storm Sanders 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

Major champions Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova were bounced from the women’s draw.

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French Open: Iga Swiatek rolls toward possible Coco Gauff rematch

Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek reached the French Open third round without dropping a set, eyeing a third Roland Garros title in four years. Not that she needed the help, but Swiatek’s immediate draw is wide open after the rest of the seeds in her section lost.

Swiatek dispatched 102nd-ranked American Claire Liu 6-4, 6-0 on Thursday, the same score as her first-round win. She gets 80th-ranked Wang Xinyu of China in the round of 32.

The other three seeds in Swiatek’s section all lost in the first round, so the earliest that the world No. 1 could play another seed is the quarterfinals. And that would be No. 6 Coco Gauff, who was runner-up to Swiatek last year.

Gauff plays her second-round match later Thursday against 61st-ranked Austrian Julia Grabher. Gauff also doesn’t have any seeds in her way before a possible Swiatek showdown.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

Swiatek, who turned 22 on Wednesday, came into this year’s French Open without the invincibility of a year ago, when she was 16-0 in the spring clay season during an overall 37-match win streak.

She retired from her last pre-French Open match with a right thigh injury, but said it wasn’t serious. That diagnosis appears to have been spot-on through two matches this week, though her serve was broken twice in the first set of each match.

While the men’s draw has been upended by 14-time champion Rafael Nadal‘s pre-event withdrawal and No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev‘s loss in the first round, the top women have taken care of business.

Nos. 2, 3 and 4 seeds Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, American Jessica Pegula and Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan also reached the third round without dropping a set.

Though all of them have beaten Swiatek in 2023, the Pole remains the favorite to lift the trophy a week from Saturday. She can join Serena Williams and Justine Henin as the lone women to win three or more French Opens since 2000.

She can also become the youngest woman to win three French Opens since Monica Seles in 1992 and the youngest woman to win four Slams overall since Williams in 2002.

Swiatek doesn’t dwell on it.

“I never even played Serena or Monica Seles,” she said. “I’m kind of living my own life and having my own journey.”

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Penny Oleksiak to miss world swimming championships

Penny Oleksiak

Seven-time Olympic medalist Penny Oleksiak of Canada will miss July’s world swimming championships because she does not expect to be recovered enough from knee and shoulder injuries.

“The bar that we set was, can she be as good as she’s ever been at these world championships?” coach Ryan Mallette said in a press release. “We just don’t feel like we’re going to be ready to be 100 percent yet this summer. Our focus is to get her back to 100 percent as soon as possible to get ready for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”

Oleksiak, who owns the Canadian record of seven Olympic medals (across all sports), missed Canada’s trials meet for worlds two months ago due to the injuries. She was still named to the team at the time in hope that she would be ready in time for worlds.

The 22-year-old returned to competition last month at a Mare Nostrum meet in Barcelona, after which she chose to focus on continued rehab rather than compete at worlds in Fukuoka, Japan.

“Swimming at Mare Nostrum was a checkpoint for worlds, and I gave it my best shot,” Oleksiak said in the release. “We reviewed my swims there, and it showed me the level I want to get back to. Now I need to focus on my rehab to get back to where I want to be and put myself in position to be at my best next season.”

Oleksiak had knee surgery last year to repair a meniscus. After that, she developed a left shoulder injury.

In 2016, Oleksiak tied for Olympic 100m freestyle gold with American Simone Manuel. She also earned 100m butterfly silver in Rio and 200m free bronze in Tokyo, along with four relay medals between those two Games.

At last year’s worlds, she earned four relay medals and placed fourth in the 100m free.

She anchored the Canadian 4x100m free relay to silver behind Australia at the most recent Olympics and worlds.

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