Remarkable Emma Raducanu reaches US Open semi-finals as Zverev sees off Harris

Jonathan Davies in US Open 09 Sep 2021
Raducanu reacts (Cal Sport Media/SIPA USA/PA Images)

Emma Raducanu became the first qualifier to reach the US Open semi-finals after a straight-sets victory over Olympic champion Belinda Bencic at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday.

The British teenager continued her remarkable run in New York, where she has now won 16 consecutive sets without reply following her 6-3, 6-4 success.

The world number 150 also became the lowest-ranked player to reach the last four of the season’s final Slam since Kim Clijsters in 2009.

The youngest British quarter-finalist in the Big Apple for over 60 years, Raducanu arrived having dropped just 15 games – the fewest in the first four rounds since Serena Williams in 2013.

But the 18-year-old looked nervous during the early stages, with 11th seed Bencic breaking to 15 in the opening game on the way to a 3-1 lead.

Nevertheless, she hit back with two breaks as she won the next five games to land the opening set.

That set was also the first dropped by Bencic, who was eyeing a second straight semi-final at this event and 14th win from 15 matches.

But an untimely double fault saw the Swiss broken in the fifth by Raducanu, who subsequently held to ensure her fairytale in New York lived on.

Also through to the semi-finals in the men’s draw is Alexander Zverev after the Olympic gold medallist saw off Lloyd Harris in straight sets 7-6, 6-3, 6-4.

The 2020 runner-up survived a break in the eighth game of a tight opening set, responding immediately before prevailing 8-6 in the tie-break.

Harris was making his first appearance at this stage of a Slam having taken out three seeds in Karen Khachanov, Denis Shapovalov and Reilly Opelka.

But the South African never looked like adding Zverev to his list of scalps thereon.

An early break in the second set paved the way for the fourth seed to double his lead and, though pegged back to 4-3 from 4-0 up in the next, he held his nerve to secure a 16th straight victory.

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