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Emma Raducanu just became the British number one tennis player as she made it through to the semi-finals of the US Open.

Emma Raducanu has beaten Tokyo’s reigning Olympic champion to make it through to the semi-finals of the US Open. At just 18 years old, that’s no mean feat. It also puts her in the history books as the youngest British tennis player to reach the US Open semi-finals.

The huge achievement comes after Raducanu – ranked 150th in the world – beat Swiss player and world number 11, Belinda Bencic, in straight sets during the quarter-finals in New York on 8 September.

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But she didn’t expect to get this far – and she’s not just saying that to be modest. Raducanu actually booked a flight home for after the qualifiers, expecting to get knocked out before the final stages. “I didn’t expect to be here at all,” she told the BBC after her win, saying that rescheduling her flight is “a nice problem to have.”

Her meteoric rise started at Wimbledon this summer, having entered as a wildcard ranked 338th in the world and finishing in the last 16, aripiprazole lauroxil pdufa only withdrawing due to breathing difficulties. The US Open is Raducanu’s second-ever grand slam, having not competed in one before this year, but she’s not dropped a set. She’s now overtaken Joanna Kantu and Heather Watson in British rankings, and is now on the cusp on making the world’s top 50 players. 

Emma Raducunu didn’t expect to get to the US Open semi-finals.

Somehow, she isn’t feeling the pressure. “I’m just really enjoying the experience,” she said. “Out there on the court, 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.”

Raducanu is also taking the time to forge relationships with the heros who came before her. She referred to Virginia Wade, who was the last British woman to win the title in 1968, as an “absolute legend” after Wade watched her win against Shelby Rogers. Wade then said that the teenager will be “in that handful who will be dominating tennis.”

With all eyes on Raducanu during Friday’s match against Maria Sakkari, we have no doubt that she’ll deliver. Win or not, watching her joy and surprise at getting to be on court is exciting enough. 

Images: Getty

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