Briton Raducanu prepared to tackle Rogers, home crowd at US Open

18-year-old has yet to drop a set, faces a surging American, who defeated world number one Barty at Flushing Meadows


REUTERS September 06, 2021

NEW YORK:

Emma Raducanu’s dream run at the US Open looked to be taking her to a last-16 tie with Ash Barty but while the 18-year-old Briton has avoided the world number one she will be up against a surging Shelby Rogers and raucous home crowd on Monday.

Raducanu, ranked 150th in the world, became the first player this century to make the second week of her first two Grand Slam main draw appearances and has yet to drop a set at Flushing Meadows.

“I think not playing in front of your home crowd, you have a different level of motivation,” Raducanu said. “I’m pretty motivated for any situation that I’m thrown into.”

As the only American left in the women’s draw, Rogers can expect enthusiastic backing throughout the contest, though she admitted she would have to do some “scouting” on her opponent, who was an unknown quantity before Wimbledon.

“She’s fearless, she’s playing very well and she’s inspired,” said Rogers, who earned the biggest win of her career by beating Barty. “It’s going to be a battle, I’m ready for it.”

Another American making waves at the year’s final Grand Slam is wildcard Jenson Brooksby. The 20-year-old — ranked 99th in the world — is counting on the support from the stands when he faces top seed Novak Djokovic.

“I’m excited to see how well I can focus, see how well I can play with one of the biggest challenges and with one of the biggest crowds in a court that you can get,” Brooksby said.

Alexander Zverev has had a relatively comfortable route to the last 16 and takes on Italian Jannik Sinner, who has gone through the wringer and been on court nearly 10 hours, double that of the fourth seed.

“It’s great to spend as little time as possible on the court in the first week because that is where you kind of gain and win in the second week,” Zverev said.

The final match at Arthur Ashe has 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu looking to extend her unbeaten run in the Grand Slam’s main draw to 11 matches when she faces Greek Maria Sakkari.

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