Citi Open: Emma Raducanu falls to Liudmila Samsonova
Second seed Emma Raducanu’s Citi Open run has ended with a quarter-final defeat against Liudmila Samsonova in Washington.
Despite a tight opening set, Raducanu was ultimately overpowered 7-6 (6) 6-1 by the Russian world number 60.
Samsonova saved four set points en route to clinching the first set before cruising home in the second with nine aces and 33 winners for the match.
Raducanu appeared to be nursing blisters on her hand, with the discomfort made apparent during the contest.
Meanwhile, 21-year-old Chinese lucky loser Wang Xiyu made the second WTA semifinal of her career by beating fourth seed and former World No 1 Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-3.
Wang proved a bridge too far for Azarenka who won an epic 80-minute set earlier in the day as she rounded off a straight-sets win over Tereza Martincova.
In other action Daria Saville put down an attempted comeback from Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino.
Marino had clawed her way back from 6-1 and 3-0 down when rain delay play, however, Saville held firm to claim a spot in her first tour-level semifinal since 2018 in Acapulco.
Saville had plummeted out of the top 500 after injury worries put her on the shelf and saw her undergo surgery.
She has been delighted to put together a stunning run that announces her return as a force of the WTA Tour.
“The reason why I really wanted that surgery,” the former World No.20 said.
“I was like, ‘This is just not giving me a chance like to see my whole potential.’ I was hurting. So now I’m like, ‘Okay, you have a chance now every week to see how far you can go, how much improvement you can make. Like these little wins I take every single day or every single week.”
Rounding off the semi-finalists in Washington DC is Kaia Kanepi who made her first semifinal of the season with a grueling two-and-a-half hour victory over Kalinskaya.
Kanepi’s win was the only match completed before a lengthy delay and she might now hold a recovery edge, despite being made to work very hard to gain the last four.
“It was a very tough match,” former Top 20 player Kanepi said afterward.
“It was so hot on the court. … I don’t know actually how I managed to win.
“Just tried to play my game, but she also played her game really well.”
Kanepi will face Saville in her semi-final while Samsonova will take on Wang for a place in the final.
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