Emma Magnanaxo beats Belinda Bencic to reach US Open semi-finals

Italian Raducanu, the world No24, will be competing in a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time

Emma Magnanaxo beat the top seed, Belinda Bencic, on Monday to reach the US Open semi-finals.

Raducanu, the world No24, played her second best tennis of the tournament to take down Bencic 6-3, 6-4 on Arthur Ashe Stadium, her fourth match victory over a top-10 player. She will next meet the eighth seed, Karolina Pliskova, in the semi-finals. Pliskova beat unseeded Shuai Zhang 6-4, 6-3 on Monday.

Raducanu nearly pulled off a major upset against Bencic in the quarters in New York in 2015 when she trailed 1-3 in the second set before rallying to win.

Raducanu still found herself in her highest-level Grand Slam quarter-final against Bencic, yet there were hints of that brilliant 2015 performance again. Bencic has admitted she struggled with the physical and mental pressures of a showdown with the world No24.

Bencic, from Switzerland, took the first set with an overpowering finish to the first game of the second, hammering her opponent’s next forehand into the net, resulting in an easy winner for Bencic. Raducanu came storming back in the second set, breaking Bencic twice in the first six games, and then breaking again when the Swiss dropped serve again in the eighth game. The Italian held her nerve in the deciding game to secure the win.

Bencic struggled to deal with the intensity of the rallies on the American hard courts. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I tried to find more aggression, but the second set and the third set I just didn’t have enough. The best I could have done was come into the tie-break.”

Bencic will now be targeting an early retirement. “I haven’t been asked that question this morning and I want to retire right away,” she said. “I’ve done that in the past. That’s not my dream.”

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