Emma Raducanu eases into US Open quarter-finals
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Emma Raducanu received expert advice from former British No 1 Tim Henman during her stunning US Open quarter-final victory against Belinda Bencic. The 18-year-old became the first ever qualifier to reach the last four of the tournament.
Raducanu burst onto the scene at the Wimbledon Championships earlier this summer.
A qualifier at the All England Club, too, she reached the fourth round but retired during her clash with Ajla Tomljanovic. She received huge praise for her performances nonetheless.
However, her display on Arthur Ashe against Bencic is the best she has managed in her fledgling Grand Slam career.
Raducanu came back for a slightly nervy start to break serve twice in the first set. She was then soaring through the second when Bencic appeared to be gaining some momentum.
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It was 30-30 with Raducanu leading 5-4 and serving to win the match when she sought some advice from Henman.
The 47-year-old was working courtside for Amazon Prime’s coverage of the US Open and revealed his dialogue with Raducanu before she roared to success.
Commentator Jim Courier said: “I’ve got to tell you, Tim was a huge assist for Emma because at 5-4, she’s serving for the match, 30-all.
“She doesn’t look over to her team, she looks straight at Tim for like a good four seconds. What did you tell her? What kind of signs were you giving her?”
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Henman responded, quipping: “I said at 30-all, ‘Win two more points and you’ll be fine!’ The higher level of coaching.”
Raducanu could now face Wimbledon runner-up and World No 4 Karolina Pliskova in the semi-final.
The other final-four clash sees 19-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez go up against Aryna Sabalenka.
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“It was love 30 in the last couple of services game so to hold was pretty big. I just took it one point at a time, and just tried to focus on what I can control, my serve, landing first serves,” Raducanu said of trying to see out the match.
“Belinda is an incredibly tough opponent so she was going to fight until the end, but I am just really pleased to have come through that.”
She added: “Playing Belinda, she is such a great opponent and she’s in unbelievable form.
“Her ball speed definitely caught me off guard because she hits it so hard, so I had to try and adjust and adapt.
“It was a really tough match for me. I am just so, so happy to have come through and thanks so much for all of your support today.
“I have got an absolutely amazing team here with me. Everyone over there [in the box], they’re keeping me in one piece!
“I also have a team back home, we have been staying in contact, they couldn’t be here but I’m sure they were watching… I hope! Thank you so much everyone.
“I mean, I wish you could be here with me but everything we’ve been working for, it’s showing here. Thank you so much.”
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