Tennis

Emma Raducanu builds US Open momentum with Camila Osorio win in grim Citi Open conditions

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Emma Raducanu had to really battle as she overcame the blazing heat and a relentless Camila Osorio to secure back-to-back wins for just the third time in 2022 at the Citi Open. The British No 1 continued her US Open preparations with a thrilling 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4) victory but needed nearly three hours – and a medical timeout – on a hot-and-humid Thursday evening in Washington DC.

Raducanu is the highest seed left in the draw after American top seed Jessica Pegula’s defeat on Wednesday. She is looking for only her second ATP Tour title after her Grand Slam triumph at Flushing Meadows last year but will no doubt be left tired after this exhausting win.

The 19-year-old needed nearly three hours to book her spot in round three in a match in which both players regularly dropped serve. Raducanu broke straight away but she gave up the momentum mid-way through the 82-minute first set at Rock Creek Park, where conditions hit 36 degrees.

Leading 4-1, Raducanu was then broken twice – the first time despite saving three break points – and Osorio soon led 5-4. The Colombian, 20, battled a constant cough throughout the match but looked to have found her rhythm.

Yet just as she took the lead, Osorio coughed up some gifts for her British opponent which included a double fault on her second set point. Raducanu was eventually able to break back before world No 67 Osorio forced a tightly-contested tiebreak in which Raducanu clawed back from 5-3 down to win four straight points. 

She converted her first set point, much to the delight of the crowd. While the US Open champion wasted a break point at the start of set two, she was more ruthless with her next opportunity and it looked like she would then ease to victory.

Osorio required a medical timeout for treatment from her physiotherapist mid-way through the second set, however, with a nasty blister on her big toe. And despite that, she saved three break points to defend her serve at 4-3.

Four consecutive breaks then followed between Raducanu and Osorio, although the world No 10 defended four break points at one stage before losing out at the fifth time of asking. Raducanu had the chance to serve out victory but squandered it and then needed medical treatment due to blistering on her right hand.

She returned to the court and took the match to a second tiebreak, in which she managed to force through a morale-boosting – yet extremely hard-fought – win by converting her first match point to wrap up the match after two hours and 50 minutes. 

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