This year’s US Open saw the biggest crowd turnout in the tournament’s history, with over 1.8 million tennis fans descending on the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York. One of the stars of the tournament was Belinda Bencic, the 19-year-old Swiss who won her first Grand Slam title by defeating her countrywoman, Timea Bacsinszky, in the quarter-final.
After a day of rain, the US Open’s second day was a lot more predictable – with a few wind delays – and Emma Raducanu was not going to let it get her down, as she beat Belinda Bencic of Switzerland to book a quarter-finals clash with Sloane Stephens.
It was a great contest for Belinda Bencic, who won her second straight game. She was the favourite to win the tournament, but the Russians were always dangerous. They were lucky to win their first two games, against Daria Kasatkina and Iryna Chystykova, but went on to win 11 straight games, including the final against Simona Halep. Bencic played well too, but she was always playing against a Russian opponent. She could have won if she had faced Bojana Jovanovski or Daria Kasatkina, or even Agnieszka Radwanska.
Emma Raducanu blasted Shelby Rogers of the United States, who had knocked out top seed Ashleigh Barty in the previous round, in a 6-2 6-1 victory that lasted just 66 minutes.
|Time: 17:00 BST Date: Wednesday, September 8th New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium is the site of the match.|
|Audio 5 Live, Sounds, Sport website and app will provide live radio commentary. On the website and app, there is live written commentary and in-depth coverage.|
Emma Raducanu, a British youngster, describes her incredible run to the US Open quarter-finals as “surreal,” but she remains confident and “in control” as she seeks a spot in the semi-finals.
In the final eight on Wednesday, Raducanu will play Swiss 11th seed Belinda Bencic, who won the Olympic championship last month.
“I wasn’t expecting to be here,” the 18-year-old stated.
“I am extremely confident in my game, and I am developing and learning new things with each match.”
At 17:00 BST, the two will clash on Arthur Ashe Stadium. The match will be aired live on Radio 5 Live with commentary.
Raducanu, who made his professional debut with a run to the last 16 at Wimbledon, has now eclipsed that feat in spectacular fashion in New York.
At Flushing Meadows, the Kent youngster has not lost a set, losing just 15 games and dominating a succession of more seasoned opponents.
It’s her first Grand Slam outside of the United States, and the first major for which she qualified after receiving a wildcard to compete at the All England Club.
“The greatest thing I’m doing is taking each day as it comes, not getting ahead of myself at all, and concentrating on what I can manage,” Raducanu added.
|Raducanu is the first British player in more than 60 years to reach the quarterfinals of the US Open.|
|Since Jennifer Capriati in 1990, the Kent teenager became the first woman to reach the fourth round of her first two Grand Slam events.|
|Raducanu is just the third qualifier to get to the New York quarter-finals.|
|Her 15 games lost are the fewest in the first four rounds by any woman since Serena Williams in 2013.|
Emma Raducanu checks all the criteria, according to Virginia Wade.
Raducanu was rated 361st in mid-June, after a 15-month hiatus due to the coronavirus epidemic, which wiped out the development circuits underneath the main WTA Tour.
She came at Wimbledon with just one senior tour-level match under her belt, having recently completed her A-level examinations with an A* in mathematics and an A in economics.
If she defeats Bencic, the youngster is on track to break into the world’s top 100, and she might even break into the top 50, overtaking Johanna Konta and Heather Watson to become the British women’s number one.
“On the road, Bencic has a lot of experience. She’s in fantastic shape, having won an Olympic gold medal “Raducanu, who is now ranked 150th, stated this.
“I’m also feeling good about my game, and with the number of matches I’ve played, I’m feeling confident.” Each one makes me feel like I’m constructing something.
“It will be a very tough contest to win. I know that if I want to have a shot, I’ll have to play some fantastic tennis.”
Navratilova and Wade were pleased, saying, “She’s nearly like the completed product.”
Many of the game’s greats have praised Raducanu’s technical execution as well as her ability to deal with greater scrutiny, including 18-time Grand Slam singles winner Martina Navratilova and Virginia Wade, the last British woman to win a major.
Both ladies believe Raducanu has the potential to win Grand Slam championships in the future if she avoids injury, but they are wary of tipping her to make her Grand Slam debut this Saturday at Flushing Meadows.
Navratilova told Sport, “Her shot selection has been 99.9% flawless – she has a very good tennis IQ and mental IQ.”
“When she’s just getting started, she’s almost like a completed product.”
“There are still some heavy hitters out there,” she said about who will win the championship. She has a chance to win. Will she succeed? Most likely not.
“She’s one of eight, but I believe she has a one-in-eight chance because I believe the other players are better at their best than she is.”
Wade (middle) was in attendance for Raducanu’s fourth-round match against Shelby Rogers at the US Open.
Raducanu has all of the characteristics required to be successful in the future years, according to Wade, who won the US Open in 1968, the Australian Open in 1972, and Wimbledon in 1977.
Wade was at Arthur Ashe Stadium for Raducanu’s play against Shelby Rogers, and during the post-match win interview, the younger Briton addressed the 76-year-old and called her a “inspiration.”
“Emma is energetic, lively, and a beautiful person – all of that contributes to the overall complexion, which is fantastic,” Wade told Sport.
“Her serve is excellent, she glides fluidly, and her groundstrokes are superb. I haven’t seen a single box she hasn’t checked.”
Raducanu has impressed Bencic, but she is hopeful that her experience will assist her.
Bencic, 24, was also a young prodigy, reaching the top 100 in the world at the age of 17 and exploding into the Grand Slam scene at the same age, reaching the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows in 2014.
Bencic had this to say about Raducanu: “She’s a rising star with incredible potential. I haven’t seen much of her play yet, but little I have seen indicates that she is extremely athletic, moves well, and has excellent outcomes.”
Bencic was often likened to five-time Grand Slam winner Martina Hingis, who also taught and mentored her younger colleague. Bencic was coached by Martina Hingis’ mother.
Bencic rose to seventh in the global rankings while only 18 years old in 2016, but subsequently had back and wrist problems.
After a long rehabilitation, the Swiss right-hander advanced to the semi-finals of the US Open two years ago, losing to eventual winner Bianca Andreescu, and then won one of the sport’s most prestigious trophies in Tokyo last month.
This week in New York, Bencic adds, these successful experiences are proving helpful.
“I believe that you can always learn something from any of these events. Now I know what it’s like to be in the second week, how to handle these quarter-finals and semi-finals matches, and so on “she said
“I also believe the Olympics helped me much in this regard. I have played huge matches there, so I know what it’s like to go deep in a tournament, especially an important event.”
The US Open quarter-finals are set to kick off in New York tomorrow, with second-seeded Belinda Bencic taking on fifth-seeded Emma Raducanu. The Swiss left-hander has reached the last eight in New York for the first time, while Raducanu is looking to emulate Sam Stosur’s run to the last four in 2011. So, who will be doing battle on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Arthur Ashe Boulevard on Flushing Meadow on September 6?. Read more about bbc sport and let us know what you think.
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