Tennis

Emma Raducanu makes US Open history as first women’s qualifier to advance to the semifinals in Open era

30 Nov 2021 | 07:22

This year’s US Open has featured an unlikely contender emerging in the women’s singles draw, as 18-year old Emma Raducanu of Great Britain has made a remarkable run through the tournament. A run which continued Wednesday with the upset of an Olympic champion and a historic milestone in the Open era.

Only two months after making her Grand Slam main-draw debut at Wimbledon, Emma Raducanu advanced to the US Open semifinals with a stunning victory over Belinda Bencic on Wednesday. Raducanu beat Bencic, the No. 11-ranked player in the world and 2020 Olympic gold medalist, 6-3, 6-4.

With her victory, Raducanu has now become the first women’s qualifier to make the US Open semifinals in the Open Era (since 1968). She is the fourth women’s qualifier to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam event overall, joining Christine Dorey (1978 Australian Open), Alexandra Stevenson (1999 Wimbledon), and Nadia Podoroska (2020 French Open).

“It was 0-30 in my last couple of service games so to hold was pretty big, it was one point at a time and trying to focus on what I can control,” Raducanu told reporters after the match. “Belinda was going to fight to the end but I am really pleased to come through that.”

In addition to her making history as a women’s qualifier, Raducanu is also just the third woman ranked outside the top 100 in the world to ever advance to the US Open semifinals. Raducanu joins Billie Jean King (1979) and Kim Clijsters (2009), the latter of whom went on the win the tournament.

With Raducanu’s victory, both of Thursday’s semifinal matches will feature teenagers, as the other semifinal match will see 19-year old Leylah Fernandez of Canada face No. 2-seed Aryna Sabalenka. Raducanu will face the winner of the Maria Sakkari – Karolína Plisková quarterfinal match