British teenager Emma Raducanu produced yet another exquisite performance to become the first qualifier to reach the U.S. Open semi-finals on Wednesday, defeating Olympic champion Belinda Bencic 6-3 6-4 on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Down an early break, the Briton recovered swiftly to win four straight games to close out the first set in which she had seven forehand winners and three aces.
Like Raducanu, Bencic had reached the last eight without dropping a set in Flushing Meadows but on Wednesday she struggled with her first serve and misfired a pair of costly double faults in the opening set.
Raducanu maintained her momentum in the second set, fending off three break points in the second game.
A frustrated Bencic handed Raducanu a break with a double fault in the fifth game and her frustration boiled over as the match progressed, the Swiss smacking her racket to the ground.
Down 0-30 in her final two service games, Raducanu kept her nerve on both occasions and soaked in the cheers of the New York crowd after triumphing in a nine-shot rally in the final point.
“Playing Belinda – she’s such a great opponent,” Raducanu said. “Her ball speed definitely caught me off guard because she hits the ball so hard.”
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