Emma Raducanu eases into US Open quarter-finals
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Emma Raducanu has announced herself to the tennis world with her stunning run to the US Open quarterfinals. The qualifier is yet to drop a set ahead of her last-eight clash with Belinda Bencic, and has been tipped for big things off the back of her impressive performances in Flushing Meadows. While many believe she could go on to be a big star, 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova shared her “only concern” for the Brit’s future career.
Raducanu put herself on the map with an impressive run to the round of 16 at Wimbledon as a wildcard, ranked world No 338 at the time.
Having made a name for herself in her home country, the Brit has gone on to raise her profile on an international level at the US Open, having come through three rounds of qualifying and four main-draw matches to secure a spot in the quarterfinals.
The 18-year-old has reeled off an impressive hat-trick of wins against top 50 players to secure her spot in the last-eight of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career, at just the second time of asking.
She beat Zhang Shuai 6-2 6-4 in the second round, having lost to the world No 49 just a month earlier in San Jose, before producing an astonishing performance to dispatch world no 49 Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-0 6-1, with the in-form Spaniard having recently beat Ash Barty at the Olympics.
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Raducanu then made her debut on tennis’ biggest stadium, Arthur Ashe, to take on the last remaining American woman in the draw, Shelby Rogers.
The world No 43 had secured an impressive win over world No 1 Barty in the previous round to book her place in the second week but ended up having nothing left in the tank against the Bromley teenager.
After a shaky start, quickly going 0-2 0-40 down, Raducanu reeled off 11 games in a row and overcame the 28-year-old 6-2 6-1 in just 66 minutes.
Her dominant performances have sparked multiple big predictions for her career, with former champions tipping her to reach the top of the game and win Grand Slams in future.
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The 18-year-old has already halved her ranking thanks to her US Open exploits, entering the tournament at a career high world No 150 after making her maiden tour-level final at the Chicago Challenger less than three weeks ago.
She is now up to around No 74 in the live rakings, and could make a top 50 debut with a win over world No 12 Bencic on Wednesday (September 8).
While Raducanu is being heralded as the next big thing, one of the best players of all time has shared the one thing she believes could stop the Brit from reaching the upper echelons of the game.
18-time singles Grand Slam champion Navratilova praised the British sensation while commentating on her match against Rogers for Prime Video but opened up on what could hold her back.
“She’s just a superstar in the making,” the former world No 1 said.
“You don’t want to put too much pressure on anybody but you know, when they’re special you see it.
“You saw it with the first time you saw Nadal, you saw it with the first time you saw Djokovic, Alcaraz now, the new star. It’s just, it’s there. Martina Hingis. They were born for it.”
On the only thing that could stop Raducanu becoming a top player, she added: “And the only really biggest concern is health. If the body is willing, I think everything else is there.”
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