Emma Raducanu closes in on rankings breakthrough as Tim Henman salutes the teenager

Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu turned in another sparkling as she eased into the US Open third round and now the 18-year-old is eyeing up a huge rankings breakthrough ahead of her next match against Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo.

British qualifier Raducanu produced another sparkling performance to beat the experienced Zhang Shuai 6-2, 6-4 and now she could claim a place in the top 100 of the WTA rankings if she gets through to the fourth round of her second successive Grand Slam event.

After coming through qualifier and winning two rounds at the US Open, Raducanu is up to a provisional ranking of 116, a rise of 34 places from where she was at the start of this week.

Now a win against Sorribes Tormo should be enough to see her break into the top 100 in double quick time, just couple of months after her breakthrough performances at Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round in her home Grand Slam event.

“I’ve had five matches here in New York, so I feel very comfortable with the conditions and the courts,” said Raducanu.

“I’m getting more and more used to it and each round I feel I’m going for my shots more, and today I think that was evident. I think I’ve come a very long way since my first qualifying match here, but also since the first tournament of this trip five weeks ago.

“Playing at the tour level for so many weeks in a row definitely builds your confidence and I’ve been fortunate enough to win quite a few matches.”

Former British No.1 Tim Henman was courtside for Raducanu’s match in New York and he gave a glowing verdict on her latest power-packed performance.

“I could not be more impressed with Raducanu’s performance,” Henman told Amazon Prime Video.

“The quality of her tennis up to 6-2, 4-0 was faultless. She made so many unforced errors and completely dominated her opponent and then Zhang came back a little, which is what you expect from an experienced opponent.

“Then she responded and played a very strong service game to go up 5-3 and she served it out so well. It is an absolutely brilliant win.

“The crowd got bigger as the match went on and she is building momentum with her performances and her rapport with the American crowd.

“Irrespective of what happens for the rest of this tournament, we are going to be watching Emma Raducanu at the top of the game for a long time to come.”