Emma Raducanu eases into US Open quarter-finals
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Emma Raducanu described Andy Murray as a “great role model” after she produced another sensational display at the US Open. British teenager Raducanu, who had to win three matches just to reach the main draw at Flushing Meadows, beat Olympic champion Belinda Bencic 6-3 6-4 to become the first qualifier in history to reach the tournament’s semi-final stage. She now faces Maria Sakkari in the early hours of Friday morning in a bid to become the first British woman to reach a US Open final since Virginia Wade in 1968.
And after beating Bencic, she revealed in her post-match press conference that she has taken inspiration from previous practice sessions with Murray, 34.
“I had some great role models to look up like Murray,” said Raducanu.
“I hit with him two times and was very good for me.”
And despite the prospect of a first major final in only her second Grand Slam event, Raducanu insisted she would be maintaining her “one day at a time” approach. The 18-year-old even admitted she’s missed her scheduled flight home.
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“I have a hunger to win every single match I play, so I don’t want to get ahead of myself at all, because I just like to take it one day at a time,” said Raducanu.
“If I take care of what I can control, then that’s going to give me the best chance.
“Until now, I think it’s worked very well for me not getting ahead of myself, just focusing on one point at a time. It’s got me to this stage, and I’m not going to change anything.
“I didn’t expect to be here at all. I mean, I think my flights were booked at the end of qualifying, so it’s a nice problem to have.
“I’m just really enjoying the experience. Out there on the court today, I was saying to myself: ‘this could be the last time you play on Ashe (Arthur Ashe Stadium), so might as well just go for it and enjoy everything.”
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Greek player Sakkari, 26, is ranked seeded 17th for the US Open and beat Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova 6-4 6-4 in her last-eight tie.
Under her British coach, Tom Hill, she reached the 2021 French Open semi-finals but is yet to progress to the final of a Grand Slam, meaning no matter what there will be a maiden Major finalist at the US Open this year.
Raducanu however, is unlikely to be fazed by facing a higher ranked opponent.
After knocking out Stefanie Vogele, Shuai Zhang, Sara Sorribes Tormo and Shelby Rogers, the assumption was that world number 11 Bencic would push the young star to the limit.
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