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Emma Raducanu through to US Open fourth round after beating Sara Sorribes Tormo

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Emma Raducanu through to US Open fourth round as teenage British star thrashes world No 41 Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-0, 6-1 in straight sets


Emma Raducanu came up against a supposed human brick wall at the US Open last night, and promptly smashed her way through to the fourth round in the most extraordinary fashion.

With astonishing ease she totally dismantled the game of world number 41 Sarah Sorribes Tormo, blasting her off court 6-0 6-1. The Spaniard was fortunate to get one game – it was that good.

Remarkably, the 18 year-old from Kent has emulated her performance of Wimbledon by doing exactly the same at Flushing Meadows. She has done so without having lost a set, going all the way back to the start of qualifying last week.

Emma Raducanu was a picture of delight after reaching the fourth round of the US Open

Emma Raducanu was a picture of delight after reaching the fourth round of the US Open

There was the prospect of the ultimate test coming up against Wimbledon champion Ash Barty, who was last night facing American Shelby Rogers to earn the dubious pleasure of meeting Raducanu. Either way an upgrade from the outside courts must be on the cards.

One by-product of a performance that sometimes had you rubbing your eyes in disbelief is that she is now almost certain to make the world’s top 100.

That is fairly academic, given that her upwards trajectory is spiralling at such a rate.

Even Raducanu could hardly believe how easy she had made what was expected to be an attritional baseline battle; “I was playing very well. I know Sara is an extremely tough opponent who doesn’t make it easy so you have to be on your game every single point. You have to work really hard. I am just really happy I was able to maintain my level and really stay on it at the end. “For this one I knew the plan was that I had to hit through her. I just took the game to her and hit more winners than errors today. “I have got a great team around me. We are sticking to the same routines. I’m into the second week. I never thought I would be here. The crowd is so amazing, they’ve helped me through so many moments.”

It was not that she needed much assistance in this match, such was the potency of her serving and groundstrokes.

You have to be prepared to suffer to beat someone like Sorribes-Tormo, to have the discipline to slug it out if necessary and it was again mighty impressive that Raducanu was willing to do that if necessary.

Sorribes Tormo is straight out of Spanish tennis’s central casting unit, a hard working baseliner with a heavily top spin forehand who does not give much away.

Infact no player on the entire WTA Tour has proved as durable over what has been something of a breakthrough season, with her having spent more time on court than any other at nearly 88 hours prior to the match.

With 29 previous match wins in 2021 she had by far the greater weight of experience, although the gap in class negated that.

While there are no British tourists over this side of the Atlantic at present there were still some ex-patriates making it out to the sunken Court 17. Raducanu enjoys a growing support base, although reports that some kind of Emma-fever is sweeping through America remain comically exaggerated.

The crowd in ‘The Pit’ were appreciative as the new kid on the block completely outclassed her opponent in the first set.

The Spaniard’s athletic defence, which often involves moonballing, was no match for the flat drives of Raducanu. Coming in to take the ball on the rise, she continually enjoyed success driving the ball wide to the baseliner’s backhand, which looked a pre-arranged tactic hatched with coach Andrew Richardson.

The second game was a real of tug of war which went on for ten minutes and set the tone by ending in a hard-won break.

It would be fair to say that the Spaniard’s serve is not a work of art and very attackable. Indeed there were times when you wondered how on earth she had managed to win so many matches on a tour we are told has increasing strength in depth.

Raducanu eventually had one point to inflict the infamous ‘double bagel’ on her opponent and was clearly keen to do so. She became slightly impetuous within sight of the finish line and Sorribes Tormo finally got off the mark when she executed a rare serve and volley.

After seventy minutes it was all over. Her opponent, the highest ranked that Raducanu has ever played, walked off looking as though she had just been clubbed over the head.

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