The big games are coming thick and fast for Emma Raducanu and on Thursday she faces seventh seed Jessica Pegula at the Western & Southern Open, hoping to get a monkey off her back.
Raducanu looks like she has recaptured the form that saw her won the US Open as a qualifier, beating 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams in the opening round of the WTA 1000 event in Mason, Ohio, and following it up with another emphatic display against Victoria Azarenka on Wednesday.
The 10th seed dropped only four games against tennis great Williams on Monday and two against two-time major champion Azarenka as she bagelled the former in the second set while she won the first set 6-0 against the Belarusian.
In fact, Raducanu won 17 games in a row over the two matches as she won the final game of the first set against Williams and the first four games of the second set against Azarenka.
The teenager admitted after her latest win that she has learned how to keep focused during matches: “I’ve just learned to really zone in internally.
“Like today and yesterday I didn’t really show any emotion and then I didn’t let myself get high or low, I was just one level and I think that helped.”
Raducanu looking three wins on the trot for first time since 2021
The back-to-back wins over two of the biggest names in tennis will no doubt give her confidence ahead of the clash against Pegula as she will be looking to win three matches in a row for the first time since the US Open.
Raducanu won 10 matches on the trot at Flushing Meadows last year while the only other time she reeled off three consecutive wins was at Wimbledon 2021 when she reached the fourth round.
The Western & Southern Open is her 16th tournament since the US Open and another win on Thursday will see her reach the quarter-final and move back into the top 10 of the WTA Rankings.
Pegula booked her place in the third round with a come-from-behind win over Marta Kostyuk, securing a 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 6-2 win.
The winner of that clash will face either qualifier Caroline Garcia or Elese Mertens in the quarter-final.
World No 1 Iga Swiatek will also return to action with the two-time Grand Slam winner up against Madison Keys while Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina faces Alison Riske-Amritraj
What time is the Emma Raducanu vs Jessica Pegula match?
The Raducanu-Pegula encounter is the fourth match scheduled on Centre Court and it will start at 00:00 BST (Friday morning). Iga Swiatek will be in action earlier in the day as her clash against Keys gets underway at 18:00 BST.
Other big matches on the WTA side:
Petra Kvitova vs Ons Jabeur (5) 16:00 BST
Alison Riske-Amritraj vs Elena Rybakina 16:00 BST
Anett Kontaveit (2) vs Zhang Shuai 18:00 BST
Aryna Sabalenka (6) vs Shelby Rogers 01:30 BST (Friday morning)
TV and streaming info for the Western & Southern Open?
Over the top streaming service Amazon Prime Video will broadcast both the ATP and WTA events from Cincinnati in the United Kingdom and Ireland this week.
Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel Plus will air the tournament in the United States with TVA Sports, DAZN and TSN covering Canada.
Those in Australia – and a few European countries – can watch on Bein Sports.
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