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‘It’s surreal but I’m ready’ – Raducanu ready for US Open quarter-finals – SPOTLITER NEWS

Emma Raducanu defeated American opponent Shelby Rogers, who had eliminated seeded Ashleigh Barty in the previous round, in a 6-2 6-1 win that lasted just 66 minutes
Date: Wednesday 8 September Weather: 17:00 CEST Place: Arthur Ashe Stadium, New York
Coverage: Live radio commentary on the BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra / BBC Sport website and app, with live text commentary and match report on the website and app

British teenager Emma Raducanu says her extraordinary run to the US Open quarter-finals is “surreal”, but she feels confident and “in control” as she chases a place in the semi-finals.

Raducanu faces 11th-seeded Swiss Belinda Bencic, who won the Olympic title last month, in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

“I didn’t expect to be here at all,” the 18-year-old said.

“I feel very confident in my game and in every game I am growing and learning new things.”

The pair will meet at Arthur Ashe Stadium at 5pm BST, with live text and commentary from BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra on the BBC Sport website and app.

After bursting onto the professional scene with a round of 16 run at Wimbledon, Raducanu crossed that milestone in New York in the most striking style.

The Kent teenager didn’t miss a set at Flushing Meadows, losing just 15 games and overwhelming a number of more experienced opponents.

It is his first overseas Grand Slam and the first major for which he has passed the qualifications, having received a wildcard to play at the All England Club.

“The best thing I’m doing is taking every day and not anticipating myself at all, dealing with what I can control, and I think it’s working very well,” said Raducanu.

Raducanu is the youngest British player to reach the US Open quarter-finals in over 60 years.
The Kent teenager is the first woman since Jennifer Capriati in 1990 to reach at least the fourth round of her first two Grand Slam tournaments.
Raducanu is only the third qualified to reach the quarter-finals in New York.
Her 15 games lost are the lowest total of any player in the first four rounds since Serena Williams in 2013.

Raducanu was ranked 361st in mid-June, having not played competitively in the previous 15 months, as the coronavirus pandemic wiped out development tours under the WTA main tour.

Fresh from taking her A-level exams – an A * in math and an A in economics – she arrived at Wimbledon after playing only one senior-level game on the tour.

Now the teenager is set to rise to the top 100 in the world and could even break into the top 50 and become number one among British women – reviewing Johanna Konta and Heather Watson – if she beats Bencic.

“Bencic has a lot of tour experience. He is in great shape, having won Olympic gold, ”said Raducanu, who is currently in 150th place.

“I also feel good for my game, confident also for the amount of games I have played. I feel like I’m building with everyone.

“It will be an extremely difficult match. I know that if I have a chance, I will have to play excellent tennis. “

“It’s almost like the finished product” – Navratilova and Wade impressed

Both Raducanu’s technical execution and her ability to cope with greater control have attracted acclaim from many of the game’s greats, including 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova and Virginia Wade, the last British woman to win an important title.

Both women agree that Raducanu has the talent to win Grand Slam titles in the future – if he doesn’t get injured – although they are wary of tipping her to open her account this Saturday in Flushing Meadows.

“Her shot selection was 99.9% perfect – she has a really high tennis IQ and mental IQ,” Navratilova told BBC Sport.

“It’s almost like a finished product when it’s just getting started.”

On who will win the title, he added: “There are still some big hitters out there. You can win. Will she do it? Probably not.

“She is one in eight, but I think she has less than a one in eight chance because I think the other players are better than her at best.”

Virginia Wade watches Emma Raducanu's US Open fourth round match
Wade (center) watched Raducanu’s US Open fourth round match against Shelby Rogers

Wade, who won the US Open in 1968, the Australian Open in 1972 and Wimbledon in 1977, says Raducanu has all the qualities needed to be successful in the coming years.

Wade watched Raducanu’s match against Shelby Rogers at Arthur Ashe Stadium, with the young Brit turning to the 76-year-old and calling her an “inspiration” during the post-match victory interview.

“Emma is exciting, she is exuberant and she is a lovely person – it all adds to the overall complexion, which is gorgeous,” Wade told BBC Sport.

“His serve is extremely good, he moves so well, his baseline shots are fantastic. I have not seen a box that has not been ticked. “

Bencic impressed by Raducanu but hoping that the experience will help her

Bencic, 24, was also a teenage prodigy who reached the world top 100 at 17 and burst onto the Grand Slam scene at the same age reaching the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows in 2014.

On Raducanu, Bencic said: “He is on the rise and has an incredible talent. I haven’t seen much how she played yet, but what I have definitely seen is that she is very athletic, she moves great and, I mean, she has excellent results. “

Having been coached by Martina Hingis’ mother, Bencic has often been compared to five-time Grand Slam champion Hingis, who also coached and mentored her younger compatriot.

In 2016, when she was still 18, Bencic climbed to seventh place in the world rankings but then suffered back and wrist injuries.

After a patient recovery, the Swiss right-hander reached the US Open semifinals two years ago – where they lost to eventual champion Bianca Andreescu – and took one of the sport’s biggest prizes with victory in Tokyo last month. .

These successful experiences are proving useful in these two weeks in New York, says Bencic.

“I feel that you can always learn something from all these situations. Now I definitely learn what the second week will be like, how to manage these quarter-finals, the semifinals, “he said.

“I also feel that the Olympics have helped me a lot in this. There too I played great matches and now I know how it feels to go deep into a tournament and an important tournament. “

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