Emma Raducanu continued her remarkable three-week run from the crowdless US Open qualifying event to the top tables of the sport by annihilating yet another experienced top 50 opponent with a vital combination of intelligence and consistency in the searing cauldron of the Arthur Ashe Stadium, the biggest tennis court in the world. Raducanu won her first grand slam match in 65 minutes, beating Shelby Rogers 6-2, 6-1.
Emma Raducanu Dismantles Shelby Rogers to Reach Us Open
Raducanu’s victory put her in the US Open quarterfinals, making her only the third qualifier to do so since the Open era began. She has played seven matches without losing a set, and three of her opponents have been ranked in the top 50. As of the fourth round, she had lost the fewest games of any player still in the competition, and she showed no signs of slowing down.
During an on-court interview, Raducanu gushed about her opponent Shelby, saying, “Shelby is a terrific opponent, she has done so well in the US Open.” The 1968 champion, Virginia Wade, was present to see Raducanu’s elation. I’m relieved to have made it this far after facing my initial anxiety.
On paper, this was a much more difficult matchup than Raducanu’s 6-0, 6-1 drubbing of Sara Sorribes Tormo. The American, who hit a personal best of No. 40 this past summer, is currently playing some of her finest tennis ever. She reached the quarterfinals of the US Open last year, and before that she had defeated Ashleigh Barty, the world number one, in the previous round after being down 2-5 and a double break in the third set.
Rogers is a powerful ballstriker with a reliable serve, and she can also use her strong will to persevere through long matches. She started off the match by showing Raducanu’s past opponents that her ball is significantly heavier by shattering it off both wings. She was able to break serve in the first game by dismantling Raducanu’s forehand deuce rallies and forcing a forehand error.
The early portions of the match showed Raducanu’s nervousness as she made a string of unforced errors that put her down 0-2. 15-40. Raducanu averted two break points with two unreturned serves and held service, showcasing her court awareness by dialling back her game and instead relied on her movement and effort to win a number of lengthy points.