Mats Wilander hopes Emma Raducanu’s first-round Australian Open win over Sloane Stephens will “release some of the tension” on her shoulders.
Playing in her first Grand Slam match since her shock US Open victory in September, Raducanu came through 6-0 2-6 6-1 against Stephens.
It was only Raducanu’s third match win since the US Open and her first this year after being swept aside in under an hour by Elena Rybakina in Sydney last week.
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Raducanu looked emotional after closing out the match and seven-time Grand Slam champion Wilander thinks that “says it all”.
"Just seeing how much winning a first-round match meant to Emma Raducanu after being US Open champion I think says it all,” Wilander told Eurosport.
“Hopefully she is not feeling any pressure and hopefully just winning a match for her is going to release some of the tension. She would never have won the US Open if she didn’t care - the pressure is always there, you just have to learn to live with it. Emma is so refreshing to watch.
"We have to remember that Emma Raducanu did something that has never been done, she comes in and she wins a Grand Slam tournament as a qualifier, so it’s not like she can turn around and call someone asking for their advice. It is extremely difficult."
Raducanu raced through the first set in 17 minutes before Stephens fought back to level the match.
Raducanu then reasserted control to win and book a second-round clash against Montenegro's Danka Kovinic on Thursday.
“I think this match was extremely important for her, especially because it was tight,” said former world No 7 Barbara Schett.
“She found a way to win and she can build from there. The most important thing for her is to play as many matches as possible. We all know how she can play.

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“She served better today especially with the second serve and the groundstrokes were extremely solid and she moves extremely well and she is keen, she is fighting from the first to the last point. Even in Sydney against Rybakina she never gave up and I value that a lot when she is out there on the court.”
Schett added that it is important to give Raducanu a “break” after everything she has experienced in the last six months.
“She travelled to the US Open thinking if I few rounds it would be unbelievable and she comes home with the trophy. A Grand Slam title changes your life and maybe even more so in Great Britain.
“Slowly she is getting used to this and we have to give her time. She can play tennis, she will win more Grand Slams and will be a fixture in the top 10. Just give her a break.”
Raducanu says she was pleased with the way she “regrouped”, having seemingly been on course for a comfortable win after a one-sided first set.
“I just want to thank everyone for coming out and staying so late. I think both me and Sloane really put everything out there and gave it all we had and I thought it was a really high-quality match with some really long rallies so I am really happy to have come through against such a great champion as her.

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“It was a tough match-up for a first round. I knew there were going to be some long rallies, her athleticism is really up there, so I was having to work extremely hard for my points but I am so happy to have got through.
“I thought the first set I played some very good tennis with few unforced errors and of course there was going to be some adversity and the long rallies she was just edging through with her defence.
“I am happy to have regrouped and in the third set I don’t think the score really reflected the level because I was really feeling it and just focusing on trying to get every single ball between the lines.”
If Raducanu gets past Kovinic then she could potentially face two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep in the third round.
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