Emma Raducanu thrashed in season opener
After being handed a tough opening round at the WTA 500 Sydney Tennis Classic, Emma Raducanu was quickly overwhelmed by an in-form Elena Rybakina.
The US Open champion was originally scheduled to face fellow Slam champion Iga Swiatek in the first round of the event.
However, after the Pole withdrew Raducanu was handed arguably an even tougher draw at the moment ash she faced world number 13 Rybakina.
The Kazakhstani came into Sydney off the back of reaching the final of the Adelaide International, only losing to world number one Ashleigh Barty there.
And the 22-year-old was in defiant form as she raced to a 6-0 opening set in just 25 minutes as she blew Raducanu off the court.
After going 3-0 down in the second, the 19-year-old Brit did then hold serve to avoid a complete whitewash.
Relieved to get on the scoreboard, Raducanu smiled to herself as the crowd cheered her.
Rybakina was still too strong as she claimed victory 6-0, 6-1 to advance to the second round and faces Carolina Garcia of France next.
Raducanu is now left to enter the Australian Open on 17th January with just one match played in 2022, a match that saw her play for less than hour.
Regardless of her preparation, the world number 18 would have come into the first Slam of the year with very little experience despite her New York triumph.
Raducanu will be making her debut at the Australian Open and is playing at tour level Down Under for the first time in her career.
She will have the benefit of being seeded at the event as she is ranked within the world’s top 32.
🎾 Read >> Breaking tennis news
🎾 Follow >> 24/7 LIVE scores
🎾 Free >> Receive our legendary newsletter
🎾 Order >> World’s best tennis magazine