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US Open 2021: Emma Raducanu into third round after beating Zhang Shuai

US Open 2021: Emma Raducanu into third round after beating Zhang Shuai

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mma Raducanu’s dizzying rise up the tennis ranks continued with a hugely satisfying victory over Zhang Shuai in the second round of the US Open.

It is only two months since the 18-year-old from Kent surged into public consciousness with her stunning run to the fourth round of Wimbledon, but Raducanu has already taken several more strides forward.

In her first match after Wimbledon in San Jose a month ago, the teenager was well beaten by 49th-ranked Zhang, who boasts huge experience on the tour.

Raducanu had won 12 matches since that loss, though, including four at Flushing Meadows, and she outclassed Zhang in a 6-2 6-4 victory that was thoroughly one-sided until a late rally from the Chinese player.

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“I’ve had five matches here in New York, so I feel very comfortable with the conditions and the courts,” said Raducanu.

“I’m getting more and more used to it and each round I feel I’m going for my shots more, and today I think that was evident. I think I’ve come a very long way since my first qualifying match here, but also since the first tournament of this trip five weeks ago.

“Playing at the tour level for so many weeks in a row definitely builds your confidence and I’ve been fortunate enough to win quite a few matches.”

Raducanu revealed it took her 90 minutes to travel to Flushing Meadows from Manhattan, and the match started an hour later than billed while the clean-up continued following Wednesday night’s intense storm, but all was mercifully calm in New York.

Raducanu is yet to drop a set in either qualifying or the main draw and she set her stall out straightaway with a break to love.

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The teenager was superb in both attack and defence and she led by a set and 4-0 before Zhang belatedly mounted a challenge with three games in a row.

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