Emma Raducanu has been told Coco Gauff is her ‘leader’ after warning

Emma Raducanu receives MBE from King Charles in 2022

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Emma Raducanu has been told that her Australian Open second-round opponent Coco Gauff is the best of tennis’ younger generation ahead of the pair’s meeting on Wednesday. The Brit cruised through her first-round clash with Tamara Korpatsch 6-3, 6-2 amid injury concerns to set up a blockbuster clash with the American.

Raducanu looked untroubled by previous ankle concerns as she overcame the German in 85 minutes and will next face the 18-year-old in a fascinating tie between two up-and-coming tennis stars. However, Raducanu has previously been warned that despite her US Open win in 2021, Gauff is the standout player from their age group.

“I would say her career is like the stairway to heaven right now and she’s on the top step because she’s reached a final,” Evert told Eurosport in June. “Everything in moderation. I think that’s a healthier sort of environment.

“I mean Raducanu had an unbelievable US Open but I think she’s been struggling ever since then and I think it’s going to be a while if she wins another one. But I think Coco is the best of that young group and I think she’s been doing everything the correct way.”

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Raducanu’s off-the-court decisions have been questioned by many, amid her continuous coaching changes and social media usage. Gauff has already called on the 20-year-old to “set time aside from the phone” in October. “I would say the best thing I would give her, which I’m sure she’s probably heard of, is just make sure you set time aside from the phone,” Gauff said.

“It is exciting when you [are] getting all the retweets and the follows and all of that, but it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes. At least with my experience with it. I think that and that’s probably what I would have wished I would have known then – not to focus on social media. That’s the same advice that I was given, so I just pass that along. It’s not my own advice.”

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After victory over Korpatsch, Raducanu admitted she is “very up for” her next round match with Gauff on Wednesday. “I’m really looking forward to this match,” Raducanu said. “I’m very up for it. I know her a fair bit. Off the court she’s really nice and friendly and really down-to-earth. Yeah, she’s cool.

“I’m just happy with the way I kind of handled myself today in the matches. There were points where I wasn’t necessarily playing the best, but I was good mentally to carry on going.

“She’s tricky. Like, sometimes she will hit high, sometimes nothing, sometimes she’ll shank it but it would be really effective. It was tough. I had to stay on my feet, on my toes.”

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