December 7, 2023

Emma Radoukanou
Raducanu won her first Grand Slam at the US Open last year

British number one Emma Raducanu’s preparations for the defense of her US Open title began with a first-round victory over Louisa Chirico in Washington.

The 19-year-old cruised through 6-4 6-2 in 87 minutes to claim her first win of the North American hard court season.

“It definitely feels really good to win here in DC,” Raducanu said.

“Having not played for a while after Wimbledon or a lot of matches this year, I think it’s a really nice feeling to get on the board.”

The world number 10 will face Colombia’s Camila Osorio in the second round of the Washington Open as she continues to progress to the final Grand Slam of the year, which starts on August 29.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Dan Evans booked his place in the third round with a 6-1 6-2 win over compatriot Kyle Edmund and will now face either American Taylor Fritz or Australian Alexei Popyrin.

“My focus was really good,” the 32-year-old Evans said. “It’s always nice to start a new swing with a win and it’s nice to get to the third round.”

Meanwhile, Britain’s Jack Draper suffered a 6-4 6-2 defeat to Russian top seed Andrei Rublev.

Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios was also in action for the first time since losing on his debut Grand Slam final, the Australian defeating American Marcos Giron 6-3 6-2.

At the Silicon Valley Classic in California, four-time major winner Naomi Osaka of Japan bounced back for the first time since May with a 6-4 3-6 6-1 win over China’s Zheng Qinwen to set up a meeting with American 18-year-old former Coco Gauff, who beat Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina 6-1 6-0.

“What’s always impressed me about Coco is her mindset,” said Osaka, 24. “She’s getting better every year, so I think there’s a lot she’s learning and it’s only a matter of time before she wins a Slam.”

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