Emma Raducanu ‘definitely inspired’ by gruelling Andy Murray victory
Emma Raducanu has revealed that she was replaying the earlier victory of Andy Murray over Nikoloz Basilashvili in her head as she wrestled to defeat Sloan Stephens in her first round match.
The US Open champion came up against another New York champion in Sloane Stephens in what was not a straightforward affair for her first ever Australian Open match.
After cruising through the opening set, Stephens pushed Raducanu to a decider before the Brit saw out the match 6-1 in the third.
“When I was in the third set I actually thought, ‘Andy [Murray] was up a set then he got pushed to five but he fought back so hard and took the decider,’” Raducanu explained to the PA news agency following her match.
“So, when I went to three, I was also thinking, ‘Actually, I can fight back and win, fight like he did’.
“I was definitely inspired by him.
“I’ve watched so many of Andy’s matches, all his finals here in Australia, but his match against Agut was some of the best fighting I’ve ever seen,” she added, referring to when Murray played the Spaniard at the 2019 Australian Open in what at the time many thought could be his last match in Melbourne.
“It’s great to have a role model like him leading British tennis,” Raducanu added.
The world number 18 came into the Australian Open with less than ideal preparation after withdrawing from the Melbourne Summer Set before losing in the first round of the Sydney Tennis Classic to Elena Rybakina, winning just one game in that encounter.
As such, Raducanu is happy with how she has been able to reverse her fortunes in Melbourne.
“If you would have asked me a week ago after Sydney if I could turn it around this quickly, I would have been surprised, pleasantly,” she said.
Raducanu faces Danka Kovinic of Montenegro before likely facing her idol Simona Halep in the third round should she win.
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