Emma Raducanu begins season with win over Linda Fruhvirtova in Auckland

Emma Raducanu won her first match of 2023 on the WTA Tour with a victory over Linda Fruhvirtova in the first round of the ASB Classic in Auckland.

Raducanu dropped her first set to the 17-year-old from the Czech Republic, but bounced back to win the second and third despite a lengthy suspension due to rain.

The 78th ranked Brit finished on top 4-6 6-4 6-2 against the relatively evenly matched Fruhvirtova, who is only one rank behind.

Raducanu will face 24-year-old Viktoria Kuzmova from the Slovak Republic in the round of 16.

The British number one is hoping for an injury-free year having struggled for form and fitness on the WTA tour since becoming the first qualifier to win a grand slam title when winning the US Open in 2021.

Raducanu, who was made an MBE last month, has two other targets for 2023, telling wtatennis.com: “For a results goal I’d say it’s to win a title, and three I’d say is to be playing fearless tennis.

“Just not thinking about consequences. Just going for it. That’s my goal for this year.”

Raducanu’s season was cut short in October due to a wrist injury, but she embarked on an intense two-month fitness regime without touching a tennis racket soon after.

She has been working with Andy Murray’s former conditioning coach Jez Green and hopes she will be better equipped all-round to deal with the rigours of the senior tour.

She said: “I think right now because I’m still trying to find my timing and groove and my tennis, it’s a bit early to tell.

“But once I settle into that I think the physical side will definitely have made a difference because there’s no way it can’t have.

“But I’m also not ignorant in thinking two months is going to solve my entire physical condition, it’s going to take more time, over a year or two to redevelop.”