American tennis player Emma Raducanu has beaten Shelby Rogers to reach the quarter-finals of the US Open.
Raducanu had to advance through three rounds of qualifying in order to enter the main draw.
|Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York Dates: August 30th to September 12th|
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Emma Raducanu, a 19-year-old British player, continued her dream New York debut by reaching the quarter-finals of the US Open.
In a 6-2 6-1 victory over Shelby Rogers, the 18-year-old qualifier, who has yet to drop a set in this tournament, won 11 games in a row.
Raducanu recovered from a break in the first game to dominate in style in the biggest match of her life, on the biggest tennis court in the world.
She will compete for a spot in the semi-finals against Olympic champion Belinda Bencic.
The Briton fell to her knees on Arthur Ashe Stadium after Shelby netted a service return on her fourth match point to seal the victory.
Raducanu, who captivated the British public when he reached the fourth round of Wimbledon as a wildcard in July, has now gone one better after a string of impressive performances that have pundits predicting big things for the world number 150.
“It’s absolutely fantastic. Shelby is a fantastic opponent; she did so well in the US Open and has had a fantastic week, so I knew it would be a difficult match “In an on-court interview, the Briton said.
“However, I’m overjoyed to have made it this far and to have overcome some of my initial nerves.”
On the big stage, Raducanu overcomes his nerves.
Raducanu walked onto the court with a big smile on his face, waving to the crowd and appearing relaxed, but nerves quickly set in on a court that can hold 24,000 spectators and where legends of the sport such as American Billie Jean King and Britain’s Virginia Wade were watching.
She was broken in the first game and was on the verge of going 3-0 down before digging deep and saving two break points in her second service game.
She quickly moved up the gears to take complete control of the match against the world number 43, who had upset world number one Ashleigh Barty in the previous round.
In the second set, Rogers earned a consolation game and fended off three match points, but in the end, the American appeared shell-shocked by the occasion, as Raducanu advanced to his first Grand Slam quarter-final.
Wade, the last British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon in 1977, was told by Raducanu: “Thank you so much for taking the time to watch my match. I really appreciate it, and I’m honoured to have you here because you’re an absolute legend. I’ll just do my best and see how things turn out.”
Raducanu’s math is adding up.
Raducanu’s Wimbledon run came to an end prematurely when she had to withdraw from her last-16 match against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic due to dizziness and breathing difficulties.
She later admitted that the entire Wimbledon experience had “caught up” with her.
She reached her first WTA final a few weeks later and received her A Level results, which included an A* in math and an A in economics.
She didn’t need those credentials to figure out how the statistics added up against Shelby, who made just 14 unforced mistakes to Shelby’s 29, while also hitting 18 wins in a 66-minute match.
When the rankings are released after the US Open, Raducanu, who was ranked 338th before arriving at Wimbledon in June, will break into the top 100.
That would give her automatic entry into Grand Slams, and depending on how far she progresses in New York, she could even dethrone Johanna Konta as the British number one.
‘It’s hard not to be thrilled,’ says one participant.
On Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, Miles Maclagan, a former British Davis Cup player: “Raducanu, and the way she takes it all in, has a unique quality. Andy Murray was my first encounter with him when he was 16 at Roland Garros, and he didn’t seem intimidated by the situation, and she reminds me of that. Where does one draw the line? We just don’t know yet.”
“It’s hard not to get thrilled,” says David Law, a pundit for Radio 5 Live Sports Extra. I’m afraid of getting too excited about a young player for fear of dragging her into the final before she’s even reached the semis, but seeing this reminds me of watching Iga Swiatek win the French Open [in 2020].
“Raducanu has just completed a Grand Slam’s worth of tennis matches, including qualification and four matches, and she has yet to lose a set. Bencic will be a difficult opponent, but Raducanu is making it seem simple.”
“What impressed me after chatting with Emma before Wimbledon was the vision and the confidence that she could already go through,” said Naomi Broady, a British player on Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.
“She has that self-assurance even before she has competed in her first Grand Slam, which is why I am not astonished or amazed that she has made it this far. It’s natural for her to feel enthusiastic – not only about the future, but also about what she’s doing right now. Raducanu’s poise and attitude are well above her years in these circumstances.”