Emma Raducanu US Open 2021

‘My flights were booked after qualifying,’ admits US Open semi-finalist Emma Raducanu

British star Emma Raducanu admitted ‘her flights were booked after qualifying’ following her impressive victory over Belinda Bencic in the US Open quarter-final.

The 18-year-old, who came into Wimbledon ranked 338 in the world, continued her meteoric rise up the ATP rankings with a straight sets victory against the Olympic gold medallist.

Raducanu is now the youngest qualifier ever to reach the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows and will become British women’s number one after the conclusion of the Slam after surging into the top 50.

Despite the hype and excitement surrounding the teenager, the Brit admitted she has been fully focused on her tennis.

“I have just been focusing one day at a time, taking care of each day,” Raducanu said in her post-match press conference.

“When you’re playing tournaments, you just get into this sort of auto-pilot mode of your routines, recovering on the day off in between.

“I didn’t expect to be here at all. I think my flights were booked at the end of qualifying, so it’s a nice problem to have.”

“I’m just really enjoying the experience. Out there on the court today, I was saying to myself, ‘This could be the last time you play on Ashe, so might as well just go for it and enjoy everything’.”

Following her first victory against a Top 40 opponent, Raducanu was questioned whether she believes she can lift the title in New York.

“I mean, let’s say I have a hunger to win every single match I play, so I don’t want to get ahead of myself at all, because I just like to take it one day at a time.

“If I take care of what I can control, then that’s going to give me the best chance.

“Until now, I think it’s worked very well for me not getting ahead of myself, just focusing on one point at a time. It’s got me to this stage, and I’m not going to change anything.”

The 18-year-old will now face Greek star Maria Sakkari for a place in Saturday’s final.


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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.