Emma Raducanu reacts to reaching her first WTA Tour semi-final
Emma Raducanu described her first WTA Tour semi-final as “pretty cool” as her positive week at the Korea Open continued.
The 19-year-old had not won a match on the main tour when she lifted her first grand slam title at the US Open and now, just over a year later, she is through to the last four for the first time.
Raducanu is yet to drop a set in Seoul and played her best match so far to defeat third seed Magda Linette 6-2 6-2, making it three successive match wins for the first time since her New York triumph.
“I think Magda was feeling it a bit physically,” Raducanu told reporters.
“She’s had a lot of matches and good wins because she’s a really tough player, and sometimes it catches up with the body.
“I think it’s pretty cool to make my first semi-final and build my way on tour the right way, to go through the stages.”
Raducanu, who fell at the first hurdle in defence of her US Open title last month, has slipped to 77th in the world rankings from a career-high of 10th but could return to the top 50 if she can win the title.
The British No 1 made a flying start, twice breaking Linette and comfortably holding her own serve on her way to a 5-1 lead before sealing the first set after 35 minutes.
Linette, who lost to Czech Republic teenager Linda Fruhvirtova in the Chennai Open final last week, immediately hit back in the second, winning her opening service game to love.
The 30-year-old Pole then led 0-40 on Raducanu’s serve, but the British number one dug deep to save three break points before breaking the Linette serve twice in succession.
Linette’s physical struggles were becoming more and more evident and, although she held to force Raducanu to serve it out, that proved no problem for the Kent teenager.
Raducanu will meet Latvian top seed Jelena Ostapenko on Saturday for a place in the final.
Ostapenko, herself enduring a disappointing season by her standards, needed to come through tight three-setters to get past wild card Jeong Boyoung and No 141-ranked Anastasia Gasanova in her first two rounds this week. But the Latvian No 1, who needed to save a match point against Gasanova, turned in her cleanest performance so far in Seoul against Jimenez Kasintseva.
She needed to reign in her power to bring control to her game but Ostapenko overturned an early break by the Andorran.
Ostapenko has reached the last four five times this season but has not reach a WTA Tour semi-final since Eastbourne.
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