Emma Raducanu sent brutal warning by Sloane Stephens despite Australian Open win

Emma Raducanu has been warned by her Australian Open opponent that there will be plenty of twists and turns in her tennis career despite experiencing incredible success at such a young age.

Sloane Stephens was defeated by the Briton in one of the most eye-catching matchups of the opening round in Melbourne, as two US Open champions went head-to-head.

Raducanu began at blistering pace by smashing the American 6-0 in the opening set in less than 20 minutes, but Stephens found her groove in the second and levelled the match.

The teenager made light work of her first ever three-set match at a Grand Slam, though, as she produced some brilliant tennis to win the decider 6-1 and book her place in the second round.

Stephens, 28, was magnanimous in defeat, but had a warning for the teenager as she embarks on her personal mission to prove her iconic US Open success was not just a flash in the pan.

"It was a very up and down match that could have gone either way," Stephens insisted after her loss.

"She came out firing from the first point, and let out a massive scream. She wanted to come out super aggressive which she obviously planned. She did that well so I just had to make sure I didn't get too out of control.

"I know people compare us, but all we've got in common really is that we've both won the US Open. If you think about the way she won it, that's pretty backwards compared to mine, and that makes it so hard to manage.

"Also she's carrying the whole country, so that's different to my game entirely. So she's got to learn to manage it and figure out what's for her and what isn't. Because she is so young it's definitely a long road, so there's going to be a lot of ups and downs and I think she just has a lot to learn.

"She hasn't been through much of anything yet. There'll be some crazy experiences and the hardest part is trying to prove you're good enough to even stay where you are.

"The more you try to prove, the more the emotions show. I don't just mean this about Emma but we'll be here when she comes down, too."

Raducanu's victory set up a second round clash with the Montenegrin Danka Kovinic, and inevitably led to more plaudits from those watching on.

"Whenever there is a slam, @EmmaRaducanu brings out her best tennis. Sign of a champion when you can do that at the biggest events. Perfect start from Emma," former British number one Greg Rusedski wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the teenager was herself pleased with the way she had played.

"I'm very happy with the level I managed to put out there and the improvements I made in a short space of time," she declared after the match.

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