Emma Raducanu’s Cincinnati run ended with Jessica Pegula

Emma Raducanu’s Cincinnati run ended with Jessica Pegula

Jessica Pegula Celebrates.

Emma Raducanu was unable to follow up her impressive Western and Southern Open performances against Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka as the American continued her quarter-finals with a third straight win over Jessica Pegula.

Tenth-seeded Raducanu dispatched former world No. 1 Williams and Azarenka in the first two rounds after winning the US Open last year.

But on Thursday, she played against Pegula with a 7-5, 6-4 win over the world No.8.

The top-ranked American broke in game three, but Raducanu hit level only for a poor service game late in the set, giving Pegula a crucial second break.

The 28-year-old won the lone break in the third game of the second set.

“I definitely felt nervous tonight, I really don’t know — well, knowing how she plays but I haven’t practiced with her or hit with her,” Pegula said.

“Then playing at night is difficult. It just seemed so different when I got out there. I’m happy with that and I expect another quarter-final.”

EXCLUSIVE – Tim Henman backs Emma Raducanu after her stunning return to form

The seventh seed will play qualifier Caroline Garcia in the semi-finals after a 6-4, 7-5 win over France’s Elise Mertens.

Pegula, however, had nothing but praise for Raducanu after the teenager’s impressive victories over Grand Slam winners Williams and Azarenka earlier in the week.

“I mean, it’s definitely not easy to beat Serena and Vic, no matter if they’re playing or Serena’s not doing well, whatever,” she said.

“I think it’s really hard to do the timing like that. For her, she’s already had success, but for her to handle that, I think it’s really hard, no matter what. I don’t care what she says or plays or anything. It’s hard to take those two girls back.

Pegula is looking for her first title since Washington 2019, although she finished second at the Madrid Open earlier this year to Jaber in May and Canada reached the semifinals in Miami last week.

The winner of the Pegula-Garcia clash will play either Aryna Sabalenka or Zhang Shuai in the final. Sixth seed Sabalenka defeated Shelby Rogers 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, while Zhang continued her first-round upset with a 2-6, 6-4 win over Naomi Osaka and a 6-4 victory over second seed Annette Kontaveit.


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