Emma Raducanu stunned Olympic Gold medallist Belinda Bencic to sensationally progress to the semi-final of the US Open. The Brit broke onto the world stage by reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon, and is now into the final four in New York despite being a qualifier.
A straight-sets victory over Shelby Rogers helped her advance to the final eight. She had a wobbly start in that one and started nervously against Bencic.
The Swiss broke serve in the very first game and then took a 2-0 lead. Bencic is the highest-ranked player Raducanu has faced in her fledgling Slam career and it initially seemed like this might be a hurdle too big for the talented Bromley-based star.
But Raducanu held her nerve and stormed back. This was a mature performance beyond her tender 18 years and she played with an imperious aggression that was too much for Bencic.
This was an opponent who has had a stunning summer. Bencic, a former World No 4 and still ranked a very solid No 14, won gold at the Olympics in Tokyo.
She finally broke at 3-2 and stormed ahead. At the end, she fell to her knees with that familiar look of shock spread across her face.
But there is now nothing surprising about what Raducanu does. She enters a semi-final stage where there is another teenager in the other half of the draw.
The 19-year-old Canadia Leyla Fernandez faces two-time Grand Slam champion Aryna Sabalenka.
Raducanu could play Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova, whose quarter-final is against Maria Sakkari.
“Playing Belinda, she is such a great opponent and she’s in unbelievable form,” Raducanu said.
“Her ball speed definitely caught me off guard because she hits it so hard, so I had to try and adjust and adapt. It was a really tough match for me. I am just so, so happy to have come through and thanks so much for all of your support today.”
She added: “I have got an absolutely amazing team here with me. Everyone over there [in the box], they’re keeping me in one piece!
“I also have a team back home, we have been staying in contact, they couldn’t be here but I’m sure they were watching… I hope! Thank you so much everyone.
“I mean, I wish you could be here with me but everything we’ve been working for, it’s showing here. Thank you so much.”