British teenager Emma Raducanu claimed the scalp of Olympic champion Belinda Bencic as a stunning win propelled her into the US Open semi-finals.
Raducanu defied her world ranking of 150 as another mature display secured a 6-3 6-4 win over the 11th seed – becoming the first qualifier in history to reach the last four.
Next up for the 18-year-old is a meeting with either fourth seed Karolina Pliskova or 17th seed Maria Sakkari, who meet in the evening session later on Wednesday.
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The 18-year-old is yet to drop a set in eight matches at Flushing Meadows – five in the main draw, three in qualifying – in a remarkable summer that also saw her reach the fourth round at Wimbledon on her Grand Slam debut.
"I'm so, so happy to come through," she said. "Belinda is such a great opponent and in good form, her ball speed caught me off guard so I had to adjust and adapt.
"I'm just taking care of what I can control and I'm on my own journey."
As impressive as Raducanu has played, she has been the beneficiary of a kind path to both the second weeks at SW19 and then at the US Open - with Bencic the first seed she had faced at either tournament.
As was the case in the previous round against Shelby Rogers, Raducanu struggled to settle and saw her serve broken immediately by the fast-starting Swiss.
But her response was the same and after ballooning her first break point opportunity into the New York sky, she drew level at 3-3 with her next chance.
Emma Raducanu celebrates
Image credit: Getty Images
After Raducanu held serve to take the lead for the first time, the point of the match – Bencic serving at 3-4, 40-40 – saw the Brit flash a brilliant forehand winner down the line. Moments later she was a break up and soon serving out the set – the first Bencic, the former world number four, had dropped all tournament.
Bencic came out firing at the start of the second set and forced three break points instantly, only to see her opponent duly swat them aside and hold.
The 24-year-old showed glimpses of the form that propelled her to the women’s singles title in Tokyo, but she was hamstrung by nerves and an untimely double-fault gift-wrapped another break.
Raducanu still needed to win three games and twice fell 0-30 behind on her own serve, but she recovered on both occasions to see out a memorable win and become the first British woman since Jo Durie in 1983 to reach the last four at the tournament.
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