Emma Raducanu eases into US Open quarter-finals
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Emma Raducanu has been tipped to overcome the mentally daunting task of a US Open semi-final due to the fact she does not have a day off between her quarter-final victory and last-four tie. Building on her sensational Wimbledon campaign, the British teenager is once again making headlines as she continually beats the odds at Flushing Meadows.
The 18-year-old first found herself in the public eye when she reached the Wimbledon last 16 after entering the tournament as a wildcard.
Following a couple of months out of the spotlight, Raducanu is back at it again, coming through two rounds of qualifying to reach the US Open semi-finals courtesy of a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Belinda Bencic.
In the process, Raducanu has become the first woman since Jennifer Capriati in 1990 to reach the fourth round in her first two majors, and in reaching the semi-finals, she has gone well beyond that.
Now on the precipice of the world’s top 50, the youngster will soon be confirmed as the new British No 1.
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Jim Courier, who won four major titles in the early-1990s, told Amazon Prime: “I think what’s really impressive is she goes up a level in competition today against Bencic who has as much confidence as anyone right now, including Emma.
“She was able to withstand the early barrage, she didn’t panic. She stayed right in the mix and did her thing.
“I’m marvelling at the way she moves around the court, stays down low and continues to execute the points.
“She’s captivating this American audience just like she did over in the UK at Wimbledon. It’s really something to see in person.
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“The great unknown is how does she manage the moment? That’s one thing no-one ever knows until they’re in the moment.
“She doesn’t have a day off tomorrow and that can help her. This wasn’t too physically taxing and she has less time to think about what’s going on.”
Indeed, handling the moment could be a crucial factor after her difficulties at Wimbledon.
After being catapulted from complete obscurity to front-page news, Raducanu understandably began to feel the pressure and was forced to retire against Ajla Tomljanovic due to breathing difficulties.
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That being said, Wimbledon was a baptism of fire and the teenager has had time to process her rise since then.
British eyes are not so firmly fixed on US Open action as they would be at SW19, so Raducanu can head into her semi-final tie against 17th seed Maria Sakkari with a little less weight on her shoulders although hopes are building.
According to Courier, a day or two’s wait would have given that pressure extra time to build, but Raducanu instead has the opportunity to get straight back out on court and continue to do the business without distraction.
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