Emma Raducanu reaches first round of US Open in style while 18 year old Egyptian Mayar Sherif . beats

Emma Raducanu reaches the first round of the US Open in style as the 18-year-old defeats Egypt’s Mayar Sherif – ranked 55 places above her – in straight sets in the Flushing Meadows qualifier

  • Emma Raducanu Qualified For The US Open By Winning Third Qualifier In A Row
  • Raducanu, 18, defeated the much loved World No. 95 Mayar Sherif 6-1, 6-4
  • Her form in the US has shown that what happened at Wimbledon was not an aberration
  • Andy Murray prepares for his first round against Stefanos Tsitsipas

This time there was no grass, no wildcard and no supporting crowd for Emma Raducanu, but again she won three consecutive matches at a Grand Slam.

The prize for that was not a place in the last 16 of Wimbledon, but the first round of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.

In other words, making a Major’s main draw by merit for the first time. Raducanu somehow managed it by beating one of the best players she could have met, skipping the final hurdle in the qualifying event.

Emma Raducanu qualified for the first round of the US Open with a blistering win over Mayar Sherif

The 18-year-old, from Kent, proved her resilience by coming through in steamy temperatures, beating world No. 95 Mayar Sherif of Egypt, 6-1, 6-4.

It only took her 73 minutes to fire someone who was nominally 55 places above her, although it is clear that Raducnu’s level is already that of someone in the top 100.

It becomes more and more astonishing to think that three months ago she was barely known outside the cognoscenti of the British game. She didn’t even get a wildcard in the first batch handed out at Wimbledon because they were concerned about her lack of matches or form.

The 18-year-old defeated Sherif, who is 55 places above her, 6-1, 6-4 in blistering heat

The 18-year-old defeated Sherif, who is 55 places above her, 6-1, 6-4 in blistering heat

Now, on the hard testing grounds of the US hard court circuit over the summer, she has shown that what happened at Wimbledon was no aberration.

Away from SW19’s suffocating glare, it looks like she’s already improved further, and certainly answered questions about her durability. Sherif, who is a household name in her home country, is one of this season’s climbers and was just outside the main draw.

Despite that, she lost the first set in just 24 minutes, unable to face an opponent whose game has few discernible weaknesses.

Most notable was the quality of Raducanu’s portion. Her percentage of first deliveries that came in was 79 percent and she had only one breakpoint. The coming week, on the most even surface, will provide further indications of where she is exactly.

Andy Murray was on practice Friday to prepare for his first round against third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, which will be played on Monday.

Raducanu's form in the US has shown that what happened at Wimbledon was not an aberration

Raducanu’s form in the US has shown that what happened at Wimbledon was not an aberration

The 34-year-old Scotsman postponed his Friday pre-tournament press conference, and a report suggested he was in deep talks with his support team.

Given his precarious fitness and how many times he has withdrawn from tournaments in recent years, that has sparked speculation as to whether he will take his place in the tournament. However, it was also argued that the postponement was purely a logistical matter of working around his practice.

All five British players who were directly admitted to the main draw – Murray, Dan Evans, Cam Norrie, Jo Konta and Heather Watson – will play on opening day, with former champions Murray at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Last year’s defeated finalist Alex Zverev angrily denied further reports last night that he had physically abused an ex-girlfriend. The 24-year-old German said he had ordered lawyers to sue the claims, which refer to alleged incidents on tour in the months shortly before the pandemic hit.

He gave a “categorical and unequivocal” denial, adding: “I also fully support the establishment of an ATP domestic violence policy.”

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