In her bid for retribution against Zhang Shuai at the US Open, Emma Raducanu hints at a vital advantage.


In her bid for retribution against Zhang Shuai at the US Open, Emma Raducanu hints at a vital advantage.

Emma Raducanu is hoping that the extra qualifying matches she played will give her an advantage over Zhang Shuai at the US Open.

Emma Raducanu, a British youngster, says qualifying for the US Open has helped her prepare for a second-round match against Zhang Shuai of China. Raducanu, 18, advanced to the main draw after battling her way through three rounds of qualifying without dropping a set – and then was at her best in a 6-2 6-3 first-round triumph over Swiss star Stefanie Vogele. She’ll face Shuai on Thursday for a spot in the third round, and she warned her opponent that she’s having a good time in New York.

“I’ve played four matches at the US Open and I’m extremely comfortable here in the conditions; I feel I’ve acclimatized well owing to the few weeks I’ve spent in the States,” Raducanu, who is now ranked 150 in the world, said.

“I don’t think any two tournaments can be compared because there are so many different elements, but I’m having a good time here.”

Raducanu, who has only had one meeting with Shuai, 32, has stated that the two get along well off the court.

“I know Zhang; everytime we meet each other, we converse a lot in Mandarin,” Raducanu, whose mother is Chinese, said.

“We got along swimmingly, and she’s a fantastic player. It was my first game on hard courts, and I played her in San Jose.

“This time, I’m going in with everything I’ve learned from the first one. Hopefully, it will be a fantastic rematch, and I believe I have progressed much in my game since then.”

Raducanu rose to prominence as a wildcard entry at Wimbledon this year, becoming the youngest British woman to reach the last 16 in the open era before having to withdraw due to lung concerns in her fourth-round match against Ajla Tomljanovic.

She also stated that the experience of winning a Grand Slam for the first time outside of the United States had been useful.

Raducanu added, “I feel like I’m learning a lot.”

“I don’t feel any pressure being around these players and hitting with them because I feel like I’m absorbing everything.

“It’s all a plus and a free swing for me because I have nothing to lose.”

“Everything is still so new to me, and I adore New York, the energy, and everything.

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