Emma Raducanu hoping to continue the teen rise at US Open against Shelby Rogers

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Emma Raducanu hoping to continue the teen rise at US Open against Shelby Rogers
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The 2021 US Open has already proved the tournament for teenagers to flourish, and Emma Raducanu hopes to add to that legacy against Shelby Rogers in New York tonight.

Overnight, Carlos Alcaraz, at 18, became the youngest male player in the Open era to reach the US Open quarter-finals following a five-set marathon.

And on the same night Leylah Fernandez, who had already despatched Naomi Osaka, recovered from a set down to knock out another multiple Grand Slam winner in Angelique Kerber.

Now Raducanu has her sights set on joining them in the last eight for what would be her first Grand Slam quarter-final appearance.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Of the teenage rise at Flushing Meadows, the Briton said: “I think that to have so many young players coming through is just really great for the game because it shows how strong this next generation is.

“I think that having so many young players and 18-year-olds, I think we all inspire each other to play better. I wanted to join them in the second week so that was an extra bit of motivation.”

Raducanu has been here before – the fourth round of a Grand Slam – in her only previous Grand Slam appearance, back at Wimbledon in July.

On that occasion, her meteoric rise was briefly halted as she suffered breathing difficulties and later admitted the magnitude of the occasion had simply got to her.

In New York, she looks both physically and mentally more adept to the challenge ahead in defeating Rogers, who had accounted for the departure of tournament favourite Ash Barty.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The American described her upcoming opponent as “fearless”, a mindset Raducanu appears to have taken whoever the opponent both at Wimbledon and again at the US Open.

British tennis has had more than its fair share of false dawns but the consensus both at home and abroad is that it has stumbled across its newest star in the 18-year-old.

She has not dropped a single set in three rounds of qualifying and three rounds of the main draw so far and, in her preceding round, made Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo, one of the form players on the women’s tour this year, look utterly second rate.

In addition, Raducanu had a full day off yesterday to recover from the rigours of repeated days play, potentially vital for someone relatively inexperienced on tour.

As for the challenge of Rogers, she said: “I’m pretty motivated for any situation that I’m thrown into. You have to step on the court with the same belief, and I definitely do.

“With each week I’m getting more and more accustomed to the physical demands of playing at this level. I think I’m improving. I think I’m playing better tennis here than at Wimbledon.

“I feel really good in my body physically. You just feel so confident going onto the court in your game. With each game, I think I’ve got my ball strike. I’m excited to see what Monday brings.”

Read More

Teens Carlos Alcaraz and Leylah Fernandez battle back to reach US Open quarter-finals

US Open 2021: Dan Evans beaten by Daniil Medvedev in fourth round as Diego Schwartzman falls to upset

US Open 2021: Emma Raducanu’s fairytale summer continues with emphatic third-round win over Sara Sorribes Tormo

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