Tennis

US Open: British teenager Emma Raducanu becomes first qualifier to reach semi-finals

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Emma, 18, was ranked 361 in the world in June when she won the nation’s hearts by reaching the last 16 at Wimbledon. She is now No.51. Last night in Flushing Meadows, New York, she thrashed world No.11 Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-4.

The 24-year-old Olympic gold medallist from Switzerland was the highest-ranked opponent the teenager from Bromley, Kent, had ever faced.

The youngster is the first British woman to reach the US Open semi-finals since Jo Durie in 1983 and will hope to emulate Virginia Wade’s 1968 title win.

Laughing after her win last night, Emma said: “Belinda is such a great opponent I had to adjust and adapt. It was a really tough match.

“I was so happy to come through it and thanks so much for all my support today. I have an amazing team with me.”

Emma came back from 3-1 down to win the first set 6-3 after winning five games in a row.

At one stage Bencic was so frustrated that she smashed her racquet on the court.

After an hour and 22 minutes, Emma, who has yet to lose a set in the Open, produced an ace to win the match.

Former British Davis Cup star Miles Maclagan said afterwards: “It’s astounding the way she has done it. She has breezed through.”

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