Emma Raducanu eases into US Open quarter-finals
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Emma Raducanu is set to face her toughest test yet when she takes on recent Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic in the US Open quarterfinal. The 18-year-old is yet to drop a set across three qualifying matches and four main-draw matches in Flushing Meadows. The Brit had admitted it will be “extremely difficult” to face the world No 12 but knows what she has to do to have a chance of winning.
Raducanu stormed into the last eight of her second-ever Grand Slam, needing just 66 minutes to dispatch Shelby Rogers in the round of 16.
After getting off to a shaky start and finding herself 0-2 0-40 down, the Bromley teenager stormed back and won the next 11 games in a row, leaving the world No 43 looking helpless as Raducanu overpowered her.
She will now face Belinda Bencic in the quarterfinals on Wednesday (September 8), with the world No 12 coming through an intense first-set tiebreak before overcoming last year’s French Open champion Iga Swiatek 7-6(12) 6-3.
While Raducanu has impressed against top 50 players during her run to the last eight, Bencic will be a step-up as a former world No 4 and the recent gold medal-winner at the Tokyo Olympics.
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The 18-year-old has since admitted that she’ll have to be at her best to have a chance at beating Bencic.
“She has a lot of experience on the tour. She’s in great form having won Olympic gold,” she said of her next opponent.
“I’m also feeling good about my game, also confident with the amount of matches I’ve played. I feel like I’m building with each one.”
Raducanu admitted that it will be a tough match and is hoping to be at a good level to compete with the former top ten player.
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She continued: “It will be an extremely difficult match. I know if I’m going to have a chance, I’m going to have to play some really good tennis.
“But I feel like I’m building for each match. I’m really excited to see what I can do on Wednesday.”
The teenager’s sensational US Open run comes off the back of her breakthrough performance at Wimbledon.
Raducanu received a wildcard into the main draw while ranked down at world No 338 and stormed to the round of 16 before retiring to Ajla Tomljanovic while suffering with breathing difficulties.
While the win announced her on the British stage, her exploits in Flushing Meadows have seen her become internationally recognised as one of the best young emerging talents on tour.
The teenager will now become Britain’s No 2 player behind Johanna Konta, whether or not she can beat the 11th seed in the next round.
Raducanu has also risen to around world No 74 in the live rankings with her run to the quarterfinals.
She had previously reached a career high of world No 150 ahead of the US Open, when she made her maiden tour-level final at the Chicago Challenger less than three weeks ago.
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