Emma Raducanu reacts to messages from the royal family
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Emma Raducanu and her idol Simona Halep are one match away from facing off for the first time in their careers. Both players are currently competing in the Transylvania Open, and will meet each other in the semi-final if they both win their matches on Friday (October 29). The US Open champion said a meeting with the former world No 1 would be a “real test” of her game, as she explained what inspired her about the Romanian.
Raducanu has recorded the first WTA Tour match wins of her career this week in Cluj-Napoca.
The WTA 250 event is just her second since she made history by winning the US Open last month, as the first-ever qualifier to do so.
The 18-year-old’s return to competition resulted in defeat as she lost to world No 100 Aliaksandra Sasnovich in Indian Wells, but she has been able to find her form once again at the Transylvania Open.
Raducanu played the first three-setter of her career at tour-level to beat world No 124 Polona Hercog in her opening round, also getting her first victory on the WTA Tour.
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The world No 23 followed it up with a straight-sets victory over Ana Bogdan, and finds herself in the quarter-final, where she faces fellow teenager Marta Kostyuk on Friday (October 29).
If Raducanu can win the clash, she could face her “idol” Simona Halep for the first time, if the two-time Major champion can herself be victorious in the quarters.
The Bromley local was set to face her hero in Indian Wells just weeks ago, but it was Sasnovich who got to face Halep in the third-round after beating Raducanu, and the world No 100 also ended the Romanian’s run in California.
Raducanu, whose father Ian hails from Romania and is competing in his home country for the first time, took some time out from the practice court to watch Halep beat Elena-Gabriela Ruse in her opening match on Wednesday (October 27).
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After sitting in the stands for her idol’s match, the 18-year-old opened up on the experience of watching the world No 18, and was left inspired to work on her movement.
“It was the first time I watched her live,” Raducanu said.
“It was a very cool experience, she moves really well. Watching her steps, and how she is moving was really inspiring.
“Maybe I will be able to move just as good as her one day.”
Following her third-round victory over Bogdan, Raducanu looked ahead to a potential clash with Halep and admitted that it would be the perfect test of her level following her US Open heroics.
She said: “It’s very far ahead, but playing Simona would be amazing.
“It would be a real test to see where I am against a true champion.
“She is one of my idols, just watching her play here is a great experience for me.”
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