The stunning run of 18-year-old British Emma Raducanu continued on Wednesday in New York, as she became the first person to reach the semi-finals of the US Open in the Open Era by sending a medalist. Olympic gold medalist and 11th seed Belinda Bencic 6 3, 6-4.
Just two months after breaking through to the round of 16 in his home Grand Slam grand slam opening at Wimbledon, world No. 50 Raducanu has now reached the quarterfinals of a major tournament in just his second appearance. two.
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The teens will now feature in both semi-finals on Thursday: Canada’s Leylah Fernandez, who turned 19 on Monday, also won the quarter-finals and will face the No. 2 seed. Aryna Sabalenka in the second half draw.
Profile setup: Raducanu is the fourth woman to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam event in the Open Era (since 1968). Now there’s a case of that happening in each of the four majors. She joins Christine Dorey (1978 Australian Open), Alexandra Stevenson (1999 Wimbledon) and Nadia Podoroska (Roland Garros 2020).
She is also only the third woman ranked outside of the Top 100 to reach the semi-finals of the US Open, joining WTA Legends Billie Jean King in 1979 and Kim Clijsters in 2009. Neither King nor Clijsters were ranked in those cases. there; Clijsters won the title.
Raducanu’s win is even more stunning when you consider her tilt against world No. 12 Bencic is her first match against any player ranked in the Top 40, let alone to the Top 20.
But in just 81 minutes of the game, Raducanu overcame the Olympic champions, making it 6-0 against the top 50 ranked players. (Raducanu has won five games this summer against the ranked players. ranked 41 to 50, including three in a row to reach the quarterfinals this fortnight.)
Emma’s thoughts: “I’m glad I got through that,” Raducanu told the press after his win. “Belinda is a great competitor and she’s an Olympic gold medalist, which is probably one of the biggest events in sport.
“She’s a great player, and I knew it was going to be an extremely difficult game. It took me a little bit of adjustment from the beginning to get used to her ball speed, yes, she’s energetic. Once I adjusted, I settled. I found a way to win, but it’s very difficult to fight someone at such a high level.
“Let’s say I’m hungry to win every game I play, so I don’t want to get ahead of myself at all, because I just want to take it day by day. can control, that would be my best chance.
“Up until now, I think it works great when I’m not getting ahead, just focusing on one point at a time. It got me to this stage and I wouldn’t change anything. .
“I don’t really know of any records. Today was the first time I heard that I was the first qualified to make it to the semi-finals. Before that I didn’t know anything either. Yeah, I didn’t. here to chase right now. I’m just interested in what I can do at this point and the game ahead.”
Statue angle: Raducanu is yet to lose a set in her eight matches over the past two and a half weeks, including her three qualifying matches a week before the event.
Raducanu of the day was cleaner than more experienced Bencic, who is looking for a second trip to the US Open semi-finals in his last two appearances (Bencic reached the semifinals in 2019 but did not compete last year).
The British teenager has 23 winners, almost double her untied errors of 12. In contrast, Bencic has 19 winners and 21 untied errors. Raducanu was also much more successful on break points, going 3 to 6, while Bencic was only able to convert one of her five points.
Important moments: Bencic’s backhand seemed to send the Swiss back into the final four as she used that wing to break Raducanu in the first set of the match. Two regular games later, Bencic led 3-1.
However, costly errors and a double error in Bencic’s next game helped Raducanu equalize 3-3, and Brit took the momentum from there. Raducanu used the forehand winners to break Bencic again and lead 5-3, and she served coldly in the next game to get closer to sadness, after winning. The last 5 matches in a row.
Bencic was undone by another double foul in the second set, when she hit a shot on the break to give Raducanu 3-2. That will be decisive, as Raducanu’s effective power game has her sailing through the rest of the clash, the clash with no extra time off.
Serving the match 5-4, Raducanu was double fouled, leaving her with a 0-30 lead and creating a chance for Bencic. But that’s no problem for Brit: she spins three points in a row, the last with an ace, to hit a match. There she fouled with a backhand rally to the biggest hit of her young career.
Next: Raducanu is now just one win away from becoming the first player to reach a Grand Slam final. Her opponent will be 17th seed Maria Sakkari, who took last place in the semifinals on Wednesday night. This will be their first meeting – with a spot in the first Grand Slam final online.