Emma Raducanu waves as she walks off court following her defeat in the first round of the Sydney Tennis Classic
Emma Raducanu will find out her Australian Open first-round opponent in Thursday’s draw

Emma Raducanu was beaten heavily in the first round of the Sydney Tennis Classic by world number 13 Elena Rybakina.

US Open champion Raducanu lost 6-0 6-1 to Kazakhstan’s Rybakina in just 55 minutes in her first match of the year.

It was the British number one’s first competitive match under new head coach Torben Beltz.

“After the match I got a box of balls and went straight to the practice court,” Raducanu said.

“I felt I could have done some things better and I wanted to try and fix it straight away, just leave with a better feeling about it.”

Raducanu, 19, struggled with her serve throughout, conceding four double faults in losing the first set.

She was 3-0 down in the second before winning her sole game of the match.

Raducanu did manage to save two match points, before Rybakina wrapped up victory to set up a last-16 tie against France’s Caroline Garcia.

She added: “I simply wasn’t going to lose love and love, so that was my motivation.

“I mean, at the end of the day I just want to keep putting myself out there. Even if I keep getting knocked down, it’s just about getting back up and basically just falling in front. You’re one step better. You learn more.”

Raducanu, who became the first singles qualifier to win a Grand Slam at the US Open last year, will be seeded 17th for the Australian Open.

Her preparation has been hampered as she pulled out of the first WTA tournament of the season in Melbourne last week, having recently come out of isolation after contracting Covid-19.

Raducanu said despite not playing for 21 days following her positive Covid-19 test, she wanted to “test where I’m at” with a competitive match.

“It’s tough but it’s good because I’m very proud and happy that I put myself out there,” she said.

“I could have easily said it’s too soon and just play next week, but I wanted to really give myself some competitive points and matches. I think this will help in putting me in a better place for next week.”

Swan & Broady through to qualifying second round

Katie Swan plays a backhand in Australian Open qualifying
Katie Swan has not reached the Australian Open main draw before

Britain’s Katie Swan and Liam Broady both reached the second round of Australian Open qualifying.

Swan, 22, beat Australia’s Abbie Myers 6-2 6-4 to set up a tie against Bulgaria’s Viktoriya Tomova in Melbourne.

Broady fought back from a set down to beat Poland’s Kacper Zuk 4-6 6-1 6-2.

The 28-year-old, who has never reached the main draw of the Australian Open, will face American JJ Wolf in the second round.

However, Katie Boulter, Jodie Burrage and Francesca Jones are all out.

Boulter was beaten 6-3 6-4 by American Emina Bektas, while Burrage lost 5-7 6-1 6-4 to Australia’s Seone Mendez.

Jones retired while trailing 5-1 in the first set against American Usue Maitane Arconada.

On Monday, Harriet Dart beat Italy’s Federica di Sarra 6-4 6-3 to reach the second round, where she will play American Alycia Parks.

Samantha Murray Sharan was beaten 6-1 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (10-8) by American Hailey Baptiste.

Source: BBC

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