US Open champion Emma Raducanu was bundled out of the Australian Open in the second round as she was beaten 6-4 4-6 6-3 by Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic on Thursday.
The 19-year-old British sensation was hampered by a blistered racket hand from early in the first set of a tense contest on Margaret Court Arena but showed great fighting spirit to stay in contention.
With her usually powerful forehand reduced to a slice, Raducanu let slip a 3-0 lead to lose the first set.
But she played on her 98th-ranked opponent’s nerves to break at 4-4 in the second and take the match into a decider.
Kovinic showed great composure to forge ahead in the deciding set, resist a Raducanu fightback, and then move 5-3 ahead as the British youngster finally looked a little weary.
A stunning backhand winner sealed victory for the 27-year-old Kovinic as she moved into the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time.