Western and Southern Open: Emma Raducanu thrashes Victoria Azarenka in Cincinnati


Emma Raducanu hits a return in the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati
Emma Raducanu will face American Jessica Pegula next in Cincinnati

British number one Emma Raducanu produced another eye-catching display as she thrashed former world number one Victoria Azarenka less than 24 hours after beating Serena Williams.

Raducanu continued her preparations for the forthcoming defence of her US Open title with a 6-0 6-2 win in Cincinnati.

The 19-year-old played Belarusian veteran Azarenka just 18 hours after beating Williams, who will retire after the US Open, 6-4 6-0 on Tuesday.

Raducanu faces Jessica Pegula next.

The Briton, who is ranked 13th in the world, will meet the American seventh seed in the last 16 of the Western and Southern Open on Thursday.

Raducanu stunned the sporting world with her unexpected triumph in New York last year, when she became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title in what was only her fourth senior tournament.

The victory propelled the previously little-known teenager into global superstardom, but she has since faced the difficulties often encountered by young players in their first full season on the WTA Tour.

Often hampered by fitness issues as she adjusts to the rigours of the senior tour, Raducanu arrived in Cincinnati with a record of 11 wins and 13 losses this season.

But with her fearless and accurate groundstrokes, she has so far shown a similar level in the WTA 1000 event to the one which characterised her success at Flushing Meadows.

Pegula, however, is likely to provide a sterner test – and a more accurate appraisal of Raducanu’s current level – than Williams or Azarenka.


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