Raducanu returns to form in South Korea following early US Open exit


mma Raducanu booked her place in the quarter-finals of the Korean Open in a return to form following her early US Open exit.

The defending champion bowed out in New York in the opening round to Alize Cornet but defeated former US Open semi-finalist Yanina Wickmayer in straight sets in Seoul on Thursday.

It was an encouraging sign of her burgeoning relationship with new coach Dmitry Tursunov for what was a hard-fought 6-4, 7-5 victory.

Raducanu has struggled for her best form in her first full season on the WTA Tour after her fairytale US Open triumph.

The 19-year-old insisted that an early exit in her title defence would enable her to have a more realistic world ranking in the 70s and begin her rebuild mostly away from the spotlight.

She suffered a second-round loss in her subsequent tournament in Slovenia but looks to have a far better rhythm in Korea.

Raducanu deservedly took the first set by breaking her Belgian opponent in three consecutive games. But Wickmayer fought back in the second set to take a comfortable 4-1 lead before a Raducanu fightback of her own.

Raducanu now faces Poland’s Madga Linette for a place in her first semi-final since that US Open more than a year ago. “My goal is to swing freer and freer in each match,” said Raducanu. “And my other goal is to stay in Korea for as long as possible.”

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