Emma Raducanu eases into US Open quarter-finals
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Raducanu overcame Olympic champion Belinda Bencic in straight sets to book her last-four spot at the US Open. It has been a meteoric rise for the Brit, who has repeated her Wimbledon heroics and even more at Flushing Meadows.
The 18-year-old, just like against Shelby Rogers in the last-16 stage, started off shaky but managed to bounce back ever so impressively to overpower her opponent 6-3 6-4.
After becoming the first ever qualifier in US Open history to reach the last four, Raducanu will now face either Karolina Pliskova or Maria Sakkari for a place in the showpiece final.
And as she made history and laid down yet another statement of intent, she also has enjoyed a meteoric rise up the world rankings.
Raducanu was ranked No 10 in Britain and No 338 in the world at the start of Wimbledon before making her move up the ladder after reaching the fourth round.
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She has since followed up her incredible form, and now two months later – she is guaranteed to replace Jo Konta – who has endured a horrid time of late – as British No 1.
The teenager, from Kent, is projected to now rise to world No 51 as it stands on Monday. That ranking could get even better with further success at Flushing Meadows.
And speaking after her latest stunning victory, Raducanu said: “Playing Belinda, she is such a great opponent and she’s in unbelievable form,” Raducanu said.
“Her ball speed definitely caught me off guard because she hits it so hard, so I had to try and adjust and adapt. It was a really tough match for me. I am just so, so happy to have come through and thanks so much for all of your support today.”
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She added: “I have got an absolutely amazing team here with me. Everyone over there [in the box], they’re keeping me in one piece!
“I also have a team back home, we have been staying in contact, they couldn’t be here but I’m sure they were watching… I hope! Thank you so much everyone.
“I mean, I wish you could be here with me but everything we’ve been working for, it’s showing here. Thank you so much.”
While Raducanu will face either the winner of Pliskova or Sakkari in the semi-finals, Leylah Fernandez and Aryna Sabalenka are on the other side of the draw.
Raducanu could potentially face another exciting teenager in Fernandez in the US Open final – who has also mesmerised at Flushing Meadows.
And Raducanu hailed her potential final opponent following her win: “To have so many young players here doing so well, just shows how strong the next generation is. Leylah is doing incredibly well.”
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