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Emma Raducanu ‘just like Novak Djokovic’ as Brit continues US Open run – ‘Very unusual’

Raducanu reacts to reaching the semi-final of US Open

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Britain’s new teenage tennis sensation Emma Raducanu has been compared to men’s world No 1 Novak Djokovic, after she extended her remarkable US Open run by reaching the semi-finals.

Raducanu has taken the Grand Slam event by storm this year, becoming the first ever qualifier to reach the final four of the tournament after defeating Belinda Bencic in straight sets in yesterday’s quarter-final.

Following her historic semi-final win, seven-time Grand Slam winner Mats Wilander revealed that he felt the young Brit’s playing style was similar to that of world No 1 Djokovic.

He said: “She’s flexible, she’s strong, hits the ball in the middle of the racket just like a certain Serbian player going for the calendar Grand Slam, Novak Djokovic. 

“There are so many similarities. And the forehand is still a little bit of a weakness, but she found a way to work around that and that’s what’s so impressive.”

Raducanu’s record-breaking US Open run has seen her not drop a single set across her five tournament matches, losing just 22 games in the process. 

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One key asset to her hot form has been her serving, and former player Wilander believes her ‘unusual’ technique needs to be talked about more.

He commented: “I think we have to start talking about Emma Raducanu’s serve a little bit more because at 18 years old, to have a serve like that is very unusual.

“It’s unusual to have the motion and the strength, but it’s also unusual to know where she needs to serve. She serves placement wise, at the right time, at the right moment. 

“So an unbelievably mature serving performance. Her movement, especially out to the backhand side, is just incredible.”

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The youngster’s rise to fame started at this year’s Wimbledon, where the 18-year-old announced herself on the biggest stage of all by reaching the fourth round, before having to agonisingly withdraw midway through her match due to breathing issues.

However, Raducanu has picked up from where she left off in New York, and in doing so will become Britain’s No. 1 player regardless of the result from her final four clash.

The youngster will overtake Johanna Konta as the Brit’s No 1 seed by moving into 51st in the world, after beginning July’s Wimbledon a remarkable 287 places back in 338th. 

She will return to action for her eagerly awaited semi-final clash on Friday, as she takes on Greece’s Maria Sakkari for a place in the final.

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