Emma Raducanu said the “next generation” of women’s tennis is showing its strength after beating Belinda Bencic to reach the semi-finals of the US Open.
Raducanu ensured his fairytale run at Flushing Meadows continued with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Olympic champion Bencic and has yet to lose a set.
The Kent teenager became the first qualifier in US Open history to reach the bottom four, while 19-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez had already booked her spot in the semifinals.
After the game, Raducanu told Amazon Prime, “To have so many young players here so well, it shows how strong the next generation is and Leylah is doing incredibly well.
“She’s really nice. She was handing out cupcakes for her 19th birthday yesterday. Everyone’s in their path so I’m just here to take care of what I can control and it’s my own journey at the end of the day.
Raducanu, ranked 361st in the world when she burst onto the Wimbledon stage earlier this summer, beat 11th seed Bencic twice in the first set and once in the second and made few mistakes direct.
The British teenager has not lost a set in a total of eight appearances at Flushing Meadows – including three qualifiers – in her second Grand Slam tournament alone and expectations for her victory in the tournament have reached another level .
Raducanu added: “Of course playing Belinda, she’s such a great opponent and is in great shape, she hits the ball so hard, I had to adapt and adapt and it was a really tough game. I am so happy to have arrived and thank you very much for all your support today.
“I have an absolutely amazing team and I have a home team that couldn’t be here – I’m sure they’re watching… I hope!
“Thank you very much everyone, I would like you to be here with me, but everything we have worked for has shown here.
“It was 0-30 in my last two service games so holding was pretty big, it was one point at a time and I was trying to focus on what I can control – Belinda was going to fight until at the end but I’m really happy to get through this.
Raducanu got off to a halting start, losing her first service game and falling 2-0 down, but she kept her cool and gave in in Game 6 to tie it at 3-3.
She then played her best game, on serve, to go ahead for the first time at 4-3 and began to find her range and pace.
A superb forehand gave Raducanu another breaking point in Game 8 and she landed it with a net in the following rally.
11th seed Bencic found himself under increasing pressure as Raducanu moved closer to the first set and the Briton held the serve to take a one set lead.
Raducanu fended off a two-breaker chance in Bencic’s first service game in the second set as the Swiss produced a brilliant backhand pass, then took the next two points to hold.
Bencic then created two breaking points in an attempt to regain the initiative, but Raducanu stubbornly refused to be broken.
The Olympic gold medalist, who had won 13 of her previous 14 games heading into the round of 16, comfortably enjoyed taking the 2-1 advantage.
Raducanu leveled him after hitting his crucial fourth ace at 30-30 after two forehand winners from Bencic put him in the ascendant.
The Briton then increased her forehand as a brilliant forehand return gave her two break points and sealed her third break of the game as Bencic came full circle with a double fault.
Bencic was against a wall and a net fired her forehand as she trailed 40-15 on Raducanu’s serve, to give the teenager a 4-2 lead.
Another double fault from Bencic in his next service game gave Raducanu a breaking point, but Switzerland fought back with three quality winners to hold on and 4-3 drag out.
Raducanu was leading 30-0 in her next service game but, thanks to four consecutive errors by her opponent, she took the lead 5-3 and moved closer to the finish line.
Bencic produced an ace to hold the serve and keep his hopes alive at 5-4, with one more chance to break Raducanu, who served for the game.
Raducanu then double faulted to lead 0-30, but won the next two points and delivered an ace to give the match point.
Bencic then hit a forehand into the net as Raducanu secured a semi-final clash against fourth seed Karolina Pliskova or Greece’s Maria Sakkari.