Wang Xinyu upsets US Open champion Emma Raducanu in Linz

Elsewhere, second seed Simona Halep had reversed a recent loss to Aliaksandra Sasnovich and reached the quarterfinals.

Emma Raducanu in a file photo; Credit: Twitter/@TransylvaniaOpn

Chinese qualifier Wang Xinyu produced a major scalp, earning her first Top 20 win by upsetting No.1 seed Emma Raducanu at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz. Xinyu outlasted No.1 seed and reigning US Open champion Raducanu of Great Britain, 6-1, 6-7, 7-5, in the second round. World No.106 Wang needed a grueling 2 hours and 36 minutes to knock off Raducanu, who has made a lot of heads turn with her impressive run in this year’s most recent Grand Slam. As a result, the 20-year-old from Shenzhen edges closer to potentially making her Top 100 debut. Earlier, second seed Simona Halep had reversed a recent loss to Aliaksandra Sasnovich and reached the quarterfinals.

“I really felt the passion here,” Wang said to the Center Court crowd, after her triumph. “It’s also my first time here, I really enjoy playing this tournament.” It is to be noted that Wang is now into her third WTA singles quarterfinal of the season. It is also her second straight, having reached the last eight a fortnight ago in Courmayeur. 

How it unfolded?

Wang started on the front foot, played an aggressive style from the word go in the first set. She moved forward whenever she could to take command of the rally. Having finished the first set with 13 winners to just three unforced errors, Wang did not even face a break point as she reeled off six games in a row.

Raducanu got her composure back and displayed some of her US Open form in the second set. Though she twice failed to hold onto early service breaks at 1-0 and 3-2, the 18-year-old was the player in ascendency during that set. After the pair moved into a tiebreak, Raducanu started hitting winners at will. Starting with a forehand winner, the Brit ended it six points later with an ace.

The third set was a closely-fought one. There were no break points in the final set until Wang powered through a love break for 5-4. While serving for the match, Wang somehow squandered two match points, and Raducanu quickly pulled back level at 5-5. However, the Chinese player quickly got another break for 6-5. Wang’s second chance at serving for the match did not have any hiccups as she claimed her career-best win by ranking.

“I always try to believe in myself and always try to focus on this point, right now, and just enjoying the match,” Wang said on court, when asked how she felt after her first two match points came and went. Wang ended the match with 32 winners to 24 unforced errors. On the other hand, Raducanu’s 21 total winners were lesser than her 28 unforced errors.

Halep downs Sasnovich

Meanwhile, No.2 seed Simona Halep started her Upper Austria Ladies Linz campaign off to a flying start. She overcame Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-5, 6-3 for a second-round victory. Sasnovich had defeated Halep 7-5, 6-4 in the third round of Indian Wells one month ago. 

Halep said, “I think she changed a little bit her game. She played a bit more faster and flatter, and it was really tough to return those balls. The ball didn’t bounce that much so the rhythm changed. I think I stepped a little back and became defensive. But in the big picture I think it was a good match.”

Sportslumo Desk

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