World number one and tournament favourite Iga Swiatek feels second-round opponent Camila Osorio did not do much wrong despite going down 6-2 6-3 on Wednesday.

Swiatek is seeking her fourth career grand slam singles title, and the 21-year-old is yet to drop a set through two rounds at the Australian Open.

She was nearly flawless in her service game against Osorio, landing 80 per cent of her first serves fair while also committing zero double faults, and she was just as impressive when on the return.

Osorio was able to win just 31 per cent of her service points in the opening set (eight-of-26), and for the match she only held serve on two occasions from eight attempts.

Despite Swiatek's clear advantage in both phases, Osorio managed to break her serve three times, and the Polish superstar said she was made to earn every point.

"It was much tougher than this score says – it was really intense physically and Camila was really running to every ball," she said. "She didn’t give up. She didn’t give me many points for free. 

"So I needed to really work for each of them and it was tough, but I’m happy that I was proactive and trying to just play a little bit to put pressure [on her]. I’m pretty happy that I won and I can play next round."

Swiatek also shared a story about when the rain started pouring on Tuesday night in the midst of her walk, urging spectators in jest to come to her aid if a similar situation arises in the future.

"In Melbourne it’s usually sunny, except today and yesterday," she said. "So I need to change my plans. 

"Yesterday I actually went for a walk at 7[pm] and it started raining, and I was just hiding under the tree, waiting for like 30 minutes.

"So if there’s anybody who’s going to see me tonight walking in the rain, please save me, give me an umbrella or something."

Swiatek's march to what would be her first Australian Open final continues when she takes on the winner between Cristina Bucsa and Bianca Andreescu in the third round.

World number one Iga Swiatek had no problem dealing with Camila Osorio during Wednesday's second round, advancing with a 6-2 6-3 victory.

Swiatek, 21, is seeking her fourth grand slam title and her first at the Australian Open, having already won the French Open twice before claiming her first US Open crown this past season.

Against Osorio, it was Swiatek's ability to consistently return that was the difference, holding the Colombian to just a 31 per cent success rate on her service points in the opening set (eight-of-26).

It resulted in a lightning-quick start for the Polish superstar, winning the first four games of the match, and despite giving back a couple breaks of serve, Swiatek did not allow Osorio to hold serve a single time in the opening frame.

Osorio was able to finally hold serve to begin the second set, before Swiatek again rattled off four consecutive games to collect a double-break and a winning lead.

In a remarkably clean performance from the tournament favourite, Swiatek landed 80 per cent of her first serves fair while committing no double faults, and both players finished with more winners than unforced errors.

With the victory, Swiatek will now face the winner between Cristina Bucsa and Bianca Andreescu in the third round.

Data Slam: Swiatek in legendary company

Swiatek has now won 53 of her first 65 grand slam matches – the sixth-best total through 65 attempts in the Open Era.

She trails only Margaret Court (61), Monica Seles (60), Chris Evert (57), Martina Hingis (56), Billie Jean King (56) and Tracy Austin (54).

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Swiatek – 19/16

Osorio – 16/14

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek – 0/0

Osorio – 0/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Swiatek – 6/8

Osorio – 3/5

Tennis great Chris Evert has revealed she is cancer-free, just over a year after she began her fight against the illness.

Evert began chemotherapy in January 2022 after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Doctors caught Evert's cancer early after she had a preventative hysterectomy following the death of her sister, Jeanne, from the same disease.

The 68-year-old, who concluded her course of chemotherapy last May, confirmed the positive news on Tuesday, writing for ESPN: "A year ago, I started a journey to protect myself and my loved ones from the risks associated with the BRCA-related ovarian cancer that took my sister Jeanne's life. 

"It is only because of the genetic road map my sister left behind and the power of scientific progress that we caught my cancer early enough to do something about it.

"My doctor said if left undiscovered, in four months' time I would probably have been Stage Three like Jeanne, with very few options. Instead, I was diagnosed with Stage Three ovarian cancer, and I immediately began six rounds of chemotherapy.

"Today, I'm cancer-free, and there's a 90 per cent chance that the ovarian cancer will never come back."

However, Evert added her "story isn't over" and confirmed that on December 1, a year to the day since her hysterectomy, she underwent a double mastectomy in order to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

Evert said she is "well on the road to recovery".

She explained: "I have one more surgery left to complete reconstruction. They say this part is easy, but I can assure you, the last five years have not been.

"As relieved as I will be to get to the other side of this, I will always have a heavy heart. I will never heal from losing Jeanne, and I will never take for granted the gift she gave me in the process.

"My sister's journey saved my life, and I hope by sharing mine, I just might save somebody else's."

Evert won 18 grand slam titles across her illustrious career and enjoyed an on-court rivalry with Martina Navratilova.

When Navratilova confirmed her own cancer diagnosis earlier this year, Evert was among those to offer their support.

Evert posted on Twitter: "Thinking of @Martina today and supporting her journey, like she did mine, with love and prayers. This is a woman who takes on challenges with strength and resilience…You got this, Martina."

Novak Djokovic set off on his Melbourne mission to match Rafael Nadal's haul of 22 grand slams, promising: "I know how to handle it."

The title favourite and nine-time champion swept through his first Australian Open match in two years, beating Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena 6-3 6-4 6-0.

Deported from Melbourne last year amid a vaccination saga, and denied the chance to defend his title, Djokovic received a rousing welcome on Rod Laver Arena.

"I felt very welcome on the court," Djokovic said. "Especially the Serbian community that is big here in Australia has welcomed me in an incredible way. So much support. So much love."

The 35-year-old from Belgrade dropped just four points in the closing set, with the hamstring injury that hampered his preparation seemingly giving him no fresh cause for concern.

"The leg is good. It's not ideal, but it's getting there. Today was a really good test," he added.

Djokovic will join Nadal at the top of the men's all-time list of slam triumphs should he pick up a 10th title at Melbourne Park next week. He may soon be looking at overtaking Margaret Court, who won 24 singles slams, the most by any player.

"They're just numbers in the end of the day," Djokovic said, when asked about the targets in his sights.

"I've been in the situations before where I've played for some really big historic things, and I've been blessed to have I would say more success than failures in those particular situations.

"I know how to behave, I know how to handle it. Let's see how far I can go."

Mother Dijana and father Srdan have joined Djokovic in Australia this year, as has brother Marko.

His parents have not made the trip to Melbourne since 2008, the year Djokovic won a first grand slam in Australia.

"Well it's really not around the corner from Serbia. Australia is a pretty long way," said Djokovic, explaining why they usually stayed away.

"That's probably the biggest reason. They've come to watch me in Paris, Roland Garros, and Wimbledon, US Open. In particular, Australian Open has been a bit of a trip for my parents particularly.

"I'm really glad to have them here. The last time they were here, actually the only time they were here, was back in 2008. We have some great memories and considerations about the time that they spent here together now 15 years ago. Hopefully they can stay all the way, I can stay all the way, and we can have another great celebration."

Novak Djokovic swept through his first Australian Open match in two years as his mission to create more tennis history began in impressive style.

Chasing a 10th Australian Open title, and the major that would take him level with Rafael Nadal's record of 22 men's singles grand slams, Djokovic beat Roberto Carballes Baena 6-3 6-4 6-0.

Deported from Melbourne last year amid a vaccination saga, and denied the chance to defend his title, Djokovic received a rousing welcome on Rod Laver Arena.

The contest did not begin until shortly after 2230 local time, with Andy Murray's five-set afternoon battle against Matteo Berrettini having been followed by a three-set struggle for Ons Jabeur in the first night match.

Djokovic began with an ace, but all eyes were on how he would cope with a left hamstring problem that has been affecting his preparation. It required strapping, but ultimately it did not prove a worrying factor.

Entering the contest, world number 75 Carballes Baena had a 0-9 career record against top-10 players, so the match went much as expected.

The underdog had three break points in the fifth game but could not capitalise as Djokovic came from 0-40 behind to stay on serve. There was no escape from 0-40 for Carballes Baena in the next game, though, as Djokovic sealed the first break with a brutally brilliant forehand.

That established the tone, with Djokovic breaking in game seven of the second set on his way to a firm stranglehold. Once the second set was won, Djokovic steamed through the third, dropping only four points.

Data slam: Never in doubt

Djokovic is now 67-2 in grand slam first-round matches. His only losses have come in Australia, against Marat Safin in 2005 and Paul Goldstein a year later.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Djokovic – 41/21
Carballes Baena – 14/16

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Djokovic – 9/1
Carballes Baena – 4/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Djokovic – 5/9
Carballes Baena – 0/3

Alexander Zverev believes the Australian Open is already a success for him after his five-set victory against Juan Pablo Varillas on Tuesday.

It was the German's first win since his foot injury at the French Open in June during his semi-final against Rafael Nadal.

Zverev only returned to tour-level tennis in December at the United Cup, where he lost to Jiri Lehecka and Taylor Fritz.

He fell a set behind twice against the Peruvian lucky loser Varillas, before fighting back to win 4-6 6-1 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.

The world number 12 hit 69 winners and won 83 per cent of his first serve points in the contest, which lasted four hours and nine minutes.

"I am extremely happy because I missed this over the past seven months," Zverev said after his victory.

"This match alone pays off for all the hard work and suffering that I have had. To win in front of this kind of crowd again.

"I can't wait for the rest of the tournament. No matter what happens from now, the tournament is already a success for me."

Zverev will face the winner of Michael Mmoh or Laurent Lokoli in the second round, with their match suspended at two sets all on Tuesday due to rain.

Ons Jabeur said a knee problem presents her with "a great challenge" at the Australian Open as she looks to reach a third successive grand slam final.

Tamara Zidansek, the world number 98, gave Jabeur plenty to think about in round one on Tuesday, but the Slovenian eventually faded as the second seed came through a 7-6 (10-8) 4-6 6-1 winner.

Two hours and 17 minutes will have been longer than Jabeur wanted to stay out on Rod Laver Arena, but she was pleased to at least finish strongly.

The Tunisian is making a habit of getting through to major finals, losing to Elena Rybakina at Wimbledon and Iga Swiatek at the US Open, but she dearly wants to be a winner on such an occasion.

That may still happen in Australia, but Jabeur had taping on her right knee and may find it is beyond her to go deep into the tournament this fortnight. She said the performance was "not the way I wanted to play", and there seems little doubt the knee was a factor.

"It's not a big injury, but sometimes it might bother me," Jabeur said.

"I try to take it one day at a time. It's a great challenge. I'm going to challenge myself and see if I cannot play 100 per cent, but we'll try to push and be able to do something with it for sure."

Her back has also been an issue in recent weeks, and Jabeur had the crowd in creases by saying she would demand a late-night massage from her husband. She quickly clarified that was all she was asking from him, pointing out he is her fitness coach.

Jabeur expects to have a "light practice" on Wednesday ahead of facing Marketa Vondrousova or Alison Riske-Amritraj in round two the following day.

In the second set, she trailed 5-3 but snatched a break back and would have hoped to then get the job done in straight sets, only to be broken herself.

Iga Swiatek, the top seed, was in a similar situation in her opener against Jule Niemeier on Monday, managing to get the job done in two rather than go to a decider.

"It's nice to see Iga from 5-3 [winning] 7-5. I wanted to do that today, but I'm not Iga," Jabeur said. "Better 6-1 in the third set."

Andy Murray savoured a landmark win at the Australian Open as Tuesday's five-set triumph against Matteo Berrettini gave him a 50th career victory at Melbourne Park.

The world number 66, formerly an ATP rankings leader, slugged out a 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-6) success against 13th seed Berrettini, who reached the semi-finals last year.

It handed Berrettini a first opening-round exit at a grand slam since the 2019 Australian Open.

Murray said he "wouldn't expect to feel perfect" for his next match on Thursday, given the effort that went in over the four hours and 49 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

However, the 35-year-old, who will face Fabio Fognini or Thanasi Kokkinakis next, will want to be back to somewhere near full health for that tussle.

Last year in Australia, Murray beat 21st seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in another gruelling first-round five-set marathon, before losing tamely to Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel in his second match.

In all, Tuesday's scalp of Berrettini gave Murray his fourth five-set win at the Australian Open. The other two came in semi-finals, beating Roger Federer in 2013 and Milos Raonic three years later. He lost in the subsequent final both times to Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic has beaten Murray in four Australian Open finals, with the Briton also sunk by Roger Federer in the 2010 title match, meaning he has been runner-up five times and never come away with the trophy.

Federer has won the most men's singles matches in Australia, with 102 victories, landing six titles along the way. Djokovic, with nine, has the most titles.

A weary Murray said after finishing off Berrettini: "In the last few years, I've certainly questioned myself at times. There's certainly a lot of people who have questioned me and my ability, whether I could still perform at the biggest events and the biggest matches.

"I felt very proud of myself after the match. That's not something that I generally felt over the years at the end of the tennis matches.

"I was impressed with myself, which again is not something... I'm hard on myself usually."

Andy Murray pulled off a stunning victory over Matteo Berrettini at the Australian Open as the five-time runner-up enjoyed another big moment in Melbourne.

Unseeded this year, former world number one Murray survived a match point against him to take a first-round thriller against the Italian 13th seed.

Murray had not lost a grand slam match after winning the first two sets since a third-round clash against David Nalbandian at Wimbledon in 2005, his first grand slam main-draw appearance.

Yet he almost let such a lead slip away this time, before digging deep for a 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-6) victory, achieved in four hours and 49 minutes.

Five-time Australian Open runner-up Murray faced a daunting opener, but both men would have hoped for a kinder draw.

It seemed to be going firmly the 35-year-old Scot's way when he swept through the opening two sets, but back came Berrettini to level up, edging a tight fourth that could have gone either way.

Berrettini had the contest at his mercy at match point against Murray's serve at 5-4 in the decider, only to clatter a close-range backhand into the net when it seemed sure he would put away a winner.

The stakes were high as the match entered a final-set tie-break, and when Murray sped into a 5-0 lead he looked firmly in control. There were slight wobbles from that point, but Murray made sure, helped by a lucky net cord on match point as a service return trickled over.

"I didn't know that," Murray said afterwards, when told about his record when leading matches by two sets.

Berrettini lost his first meeting with Murray, which came in Beijing in 2019, but the Italian won all three of their next matches, on grass at London's Queen's Club and Stuttgart before a US Open victory last September.

Former Wimbledon and US Open winner Murray, still playing thanks to his metal hip, expects Tuesday's match on a scorching day in Melbourne to take a toll. 

"I'll be feeling this, this evening and tomorrow, but right now I'm unbelievably happy, very proud of myself," Murray said in an on-court interview.

"I've put a lot of work into the last few months with my team who are here to give me an opportunity to perform on stadiums like this and matches like this, against players like Matteo, and it paid off tonight."

Extreme heat stopped play on day two at the Australian Open as tournament chiefs stopped play on all courts without a roof due to soaring temperatures.

By the middle of the afternoon on Tuesday, the tournament's heat stress scale had reached 5, the point at which play has to be suspended.

Matches were allowed to continue through to the end of an even number of games in a set, or the end of a tie-break, before players left the court.

It led to an interruption of around two hours on all courts without a roof.

The tournament's heat policy takes account of radiant heat – the strength of the sun – plus air temperature in the shade, relative humidity and wind speed.

An initial warning of what might be set to happen came when the tournament delivered a first weather report, stating: "At 1:12pm the AO heat stress scale reached 4 and the heat policy came into play.

"This means singles players can take a 10-minute break – women between the second and third set and men between the third and fourth set of their matches. Players have the option of staying on court or using showers or cooling rooms."

Less than two hours later came confirmation play would have to stop, except for those courts where the players had shade thanks to a roof.

The tournament announced: "The AO heat stress scale has reached 5 and play will be suspended on the outside courts. There will be no play on outside courts before 5pm."

Andy Murray's gripping first-round match against Matteo Berrettini on Rod Laver Arena, the main show court, was able to continue due to that show court's roof, while play also continued on Margaret Court Arena and John Cain Arena.

American Taylor Fritz, used to playing in high heat in his native California, said he did not find conditions too oppressive.

His match on John Cain Arena began without a roof, before it was closed to allow play to go on.

"It's hot, but it's dry heat, so I don't really mind it too much," said Fritz, a dark horse for the title this year.

"Playing in D.C. last year, US Open some years, is much worse because it's so hot, plus the humidity. When it's like today, it's not that humid. I don't think it's as bad.

"As long as it's this dry type of heat, then it's not that big of a deal. If it was this hot plus humidity, then it might be an issue. It would be pretty annoying to deal with."

Iga Swiatek believes people sometimes treat her like a "robot who has to win all the time" and are focused too much on "numbers and statistics."

Swiatek came through her first-round match at the Australian Open on Monday as she beat Jule Niemeier 6-4 7-5, though she trailed 5-3 in the second set before winning four-straight games.

The world number one will face Camila Osorio in the second round on Wednesday, and admitted she had needed to find another gear to overcome her German opponent.

"I knew that I could get my focus up a little bit, [increase] the intensity a little bit more. So I did that," she said.

"But my goal for my next matches is not being in those situations and not starting the set with losing a break, but it happens. I'm happy that I was able to come back. It wasn't like I needed to really change a lot. I just needed to have more intensity."

After an impressive 2022 season, that saw her win the French Open and US Open, expectations have risen around Swiatek, which the 21-year-old has noticed.

"For sure, I feel like people are really focused on the numbers and on the statistics," she said. "I feel like they're looking at those matches not seeing that we are still people, and we have to really fight for it. 

"I know that I also put a lot of expectations on myself, but I'm working on that. It just feels like sometimes they're not treating you still as a human, but more like a robot who has to win."

Swiatek has now won the first round in a grand slam tournament in 15 of her previous 16 appearances, but admitted she only developed confidence in playing on hard courts last year.

"At the beginning of last year I didn't have that much confidence that I can also win big titles on hard court because all of them basically happened last season," she said.

"Also before I think the media kind of described me as a clay court player. Maybe that got into me a little bit. But, yeah, for sure working with [coach] Tomasz [Wiktorowski], I just felt like I can be more aggressive on hard court. I don't have to be the baseline player. I really used that in my matches, then the results kind of showed me that I'm going right direction."

Rafael Nadal says winning matches is the perfect cure to his injury problems after kicking off his Australian Open title defence with victory in four sets against Jack Draper.

Top seed Nadal's class told on Rod Laver Arena in a match lasting three hours and 43 minutes as he prevailed 7-5 2-6 6-4 6-1 to reach the second round for the 17th time.

The 36-year-old was competing for just the eighth time since September's US Open, with Monday's victory over Draper his first of 2022.

Not only has Nadal spent time recuperating from injuries, he is also adapting after becoming a father for the first time in October.

However, in his first grand slam since the birth of his child, Nadal says simply winning trophies is providing him with all the motivation he needs.

"I am enjoying life having a new member in the family," he told reporters. "I've always loved kids. To be able to enjoy this new moment in my life is something beautiful.

"But in terms of competitive feelings or motivation, it doesn't create any impact. It'd only create a negative impact if I was here a month, and they were not able to be with me. 

"You don't know how you're going to react, you know? I've always been very respectful with the changes in life. You don't know how you're going to adapt. 

"I don't know my feeling if the baby's not here with me for one month. I don't know if after three weeks I miss him, and I'll lose a little bit the focus.

"I have always been excited enough to play every single tournament. My approach to the competition is not changing much being a dad or not."

 

Nadal has now lost only one of his 18 matches at this stage of the Australian Open, with that defeat coming at the hands of Fernando Verdasco in 2016.

The record 22-time major winner did not have it all his own way against Draper, who appeared to be heavily affected by cramp later in the match.

He was not always at his confident best and made some uncharacteristic errors to allow his British opponent back into the match, but he ultimately got the job done.

"I am ready to keep fighting," Nadal said of his recent injury issues. "Victories help. When you win matches, you are more relaxed and you are more confident.

"I needed a victory, so that's the main thing. It doesn't matter the way it happens. The most important thing today is a victory against a tough opponent."

Draper levelled up the match at 1-1 and in the process became one of only 12 players to have taken a set off Nadal at this stage of a grand slam.

"As I said before the tournament started, this was one of the toughest first rounds possible being seeded," Nadal said.

"To win against Jack, I needed to do things well. I think I did things well. So I'm satisfied with the victory because that's give me the chance to play again in a couple of days.

"I accepted the mistakes I made. I was humble enough to accept that there was going to be a little bit of ups and downs during the match. 

"This is typical when you're not in a winning mood. When you lose more, when you are not competing every week, that's the case. I accept these mistakes and keep going."

Nadal will now face Mackenzie McDonald in the last 64 after the American beat compatriot Brandon Nakashima in a five-set thriller.

Coco Gauff believes all the pressure will be on Emma Raducanu when the two face each other in the second round of the Australian Open.

Neither had any difficulties in their opening matches of the tournament at Melbourne Park on Monday, with Gauff easing past Katerina Siniakova 6-1 6-4 while Raducanu dispatched Tamara Korpatsch 6-3 6-2.

Gauff pointed to the pressure Raducanu has faced since her surprise US Open win in 2021 and thinks that her opponent being the main British hope could play to her advantage. 

"Obviously she's gone through a lot of pressure, bursting onto the scene. I feel like probably more than I have experienced coming to win a slam," Gauff said.

"Especially being from the UK, the first British person to do something in a long time, probably is a lot more pressure than what I'm used to being an American. Obviously I was a lot younger when I got the attention, so I definitely think handling it at an older age is a little bit easier than at 15. But also, at the same time, I didn't win a slam.

"There's always, for American fans, someone to look to. Whereas I feel like, the British, it's just her. There's other British players, but no one has done what she's done and gotten that far in a slam."

Raducanu also sealed her passage to the second round without much fuss as she put her recent injury issues behind her with a convincing win over Korpatsch.

"I'm obviously really happy to be through to the second round," Raducanu said. "It was always going to be difficult, coming in with so little prep and being out there.

"Everything I've done has been quite controlled the last week. So to test it out in a real match and with the unpredictability and stuff, I was just getting used to it in the beginning. But it felt good."

Despite being a grand slam winner, Raducanu came into the tournament 77th in the WTA rankings, 70 places below Gauff, but the 20-year-old is looking forward to facing another player she sees as part of the next generation.

"I'm really looking forward to this match," she added. "I'm very up for it. Coco has obviously done a lot of great things and she's playing well.

"I think we're both good, young players, we're both coming through, part of the next generation of tennis, really. It's going to be a great match."

Rafael Nadal secured his first win of the year as he began the defence of his Australian Open title by beating Jack Draper 7-5 2-6 6-4 6-1.

The number one seed did not have it all his own way against the Briton, but ultimately the class and fitness of the 36-year-old made the difference as Draper – 15 years Nadal's junior – appeared to be heavily affected by cramp later in the match.

Nadal had lost six of his last seven tour-level matches coming in, but gained the advantage after he managed to break at 6-5 up in an even first set against the big-serving Draper.

Draper fought back emphatically as he raced into a 4-0 lead in the second, seeing it out comfortably to level up at 1-1, but he appeared to start cramping just two games into the third set.

Nadal took advantage and went 4-1 ahead, but the Spaniard did not always seem at his confident best himself as some uncharacteristic errors allowed his opponent back in, with Draper breaking back and managing to get to 4-4.

Nadal was able to break again to take the set 6-4, and despite Draper breaking serve in the opening game of the fourth, that was his last success of the match as the 21-year-old's legs clearly started to affect his movement and serve, with Nadal finding it simple enough to close out the win.

Data slam: Nadal matches Lendl for career wins

This was the 1,068th win of Nadal's career, bringing him level with Ivan Lendl.

The 22-time grand slam winner is now tied for third most victories in the Open Era, behind only Jimmy Connors (1,274) and Roger Federer (1,251).

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Nadal – 41/46

Draper – 35/46

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Nadal – 6/3

Draper – 13/3

BREAK POINTS WON

Nadal – 6/12

Draper – 4/11

Coco Gauff wants to prove she is more than simply a "teenage phenomenon" as she bids to become a grand slam champion at the Australian Open.

The 18-year-old faces Katerina Siniakova in the first round in Melbourne on Monday, ranked as the seventh seed for the first major of the year.

Gauff has enjoyed a remarkable start to her career, winning the first of three WTA Tour singles titles at the age of just 15 at the 2019 Linz Open.

She reached the last 16 at Wimbledon in the same year after defeating Venus Williams in the opening round, but Gauff is hungry to make her reputation more than just an age thing as she seeks a first major.

"Starting another season as an established pro feels pretty weird. I'm still only 18, but I don't feel like the new kid anymore," she said in a BBC Sport column on Sunday.

"I feel I'm ready to leave behind the tag of 'teenage phenomenon'. Now it is time to be known as a grand slam champion.

"I feel like all the players still call me a baby, and usually I'm still one of the youngest in the draw, but I've been around for a while. My main ambition for 2023 is winning a grand slam title. That's the biggest goal.

"It is something I have chased for my whole life and I came so close last year by reaching the French Open final. If winning a major doesn't happen this year, I will continue to chase this dream."

Gauff was a 6-1 6-3 loser to Iga Swiatek in the Roland Garros final last year, with the Pole dominating the WTA as she claimed eight titles, including the French Open and US Open.

Teenager Gauff was tearful after that match in Paris but has started this season by winning the Auckland Open, becoming the sixth American player to secure three or more WTA-level titles in the last 40 years before turning 19.

Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport, Venus and Serena Williams were the others to achieve that feat and Gauff hopes she can learn from previous failures to succeed in Australia this month.

The world number seven added: "I know I can win a grand slam title. Now it is about making the final step. One of my other goals was to win a WTA Tour title – I didn't do that last year – and I have already that checked off by winning in Auckland last week.

"The signs are good and hopefully this success continues throughout the season."

If successful, Gauff could become the first teenage female player to reach the final at the Australian Open since Maria Sharapova in 2007 and the first to win the title since Martina Hingis in 1999.

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