Emma Raducanu returns to form following early US Open exit by reaching quarter-finals in South Korea

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Emma Raducanu is on the comeback trail after her failed US Open title defence  (AP)
Emma Raducanu is on the comeback trail after her failed US Open title defence (AP)

Emma Raducanu booked her place in the quarter-finals of the Korean Open in a return to form following her early US Open exit.

The defending champion bowed out in New York in the opening round to Alize Cornet but defeated former US Open semi-finalist Yanina Wickmayer in straight sets in Seoul on Thursday.

It was an encouraging sign of her burgeoning relationship with new coach Dmitry Tursunov for what was a hard-fought 6-4, 7-5 victory.

Raducanu has struggled for her best form in her first full season on the WTA Tour after her fairytale US Open triumph.

The 19-year-old insisted that an early exit in her title defence would enable her to have a more realistic world ranking in the 70s and begin her rebuild mostly away from the spotlight.

She suffered a second-round loss in her subsequent tournament in Slovenia but looks to have a far better rhythm in Korea.

Raducanu deservedly took the first set by breaking her Belgian opponent in three consecutive games. But Wickmayer fought back in the second set to take a comfortable 4-1 lead before a Raducanu fightback of her own.

Raducanu now faces Poland’s Madga Linette for a place in her first semi-final since that US Open more than a year ago. “My goal is to swing freer and freer in each match,” said Raducanu. “And my other goal is to stay in Korea for as long as possible.”