Emma Raducanu won her first career match at a Grand Slam in style on Wednesday with a 7-6 (4), 6-4 win over Belinda Bencic to reach the semifinals of the US Open. The Russian-born Raducanu was making her eighth appearance at the US Open but had never advanced to the semifinals — a quartet that included the 24-year-old Bencic. But the Swiss player did not have it easy against Raducanu, and after all the hard work and tears needed to make it to the semifinals of her sixth appearance at the Open, Bencic was gracious in defeat.
“I’m proud and happy,” Raducanu said, “so proud for myself because I didn’t know if I would ever be in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam.”
The first set went to a tiebreaker, where Raducanu took the edge with a couple of love games early before edging it with a backhand crosscourt winner. The tiebreaker began with Bencic hitting a blistering forehand winner down the line, and the 21-year-old Raducanu responded with an ace.
Bencic served to stay in the set at 5-4, but when Raducanu won a long rally, she walked it off on a forehand volley. It was a phenomenal shot and — after not losing serve once all day — Raducanu was in control.