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Raducanu: Two Biggest Surprises of Semifinal Run

Emma Raducanu has been too busy creating US Open history to fully realize her achievement.

The 18-year-old Raducanu swept Swiss Olympic gold medal champion Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-4 to make history as the first qualifier—male or female—to reach the US Open semifinal in the Open Era.

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In just her second Grand Slam appearance, Raducanu has swept all eight matches she's played in straight sets and will face 17th-seeded Maria Sakkari for a spot in Saturday's US Open final.

Ranked No. 338 as recently as June when she received a wild card into Wimbledon, Raducanu has rocketed up the rankings to No. 51 in the live rankings and cites two aspects of her Flushing Meadows run that have taken her by surprise.

"I'd say one of the things is my movement. Physically I would say I'm not 100% developed yet, but my speed and ability to get to some of the balls has definitely surprised me," Raducanu said. "I have started sliding, which I didn't know I could do actually, and I kind of do it by accident now. I have always wanted to learn how to do it, but now I can do it.

"But I'd say my movement and athleticism, but also just the mental strength to be able to two days ago come out onto Ashe for the first time and keep my calm and come through, being a break down, and then today again to serve out the match and play Belinda on such a big court and occasion, so I'd say both of those two things."

Photo credit: Garrett Ellwood/USTA/US Open