Emma Raducanu ruthlessly dismissed former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka 6-0 6-2 at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
The Brit followed up a straight-sets victory over Serena Williams in style and remained incredibly focused as Azarenka suffered from a nightmare of a match.
Azarenka wasn’t able to hold serve until the fifth game of the second set, and struggled with all areas of her game, including her serve from the first points of the match.
In contrast, Raducanu displayed a steely focus and outstanding concentration to keep her foot on the gas for two sets. She wasn’t fazed by Azarenka’s bathroom break after the first set and will now take on American Jessica Pegula in the round of 16.
“I was playing a great match for sure,” Raducanu said on court after.
“I had to stay really focused throughout and in the second set I could feel the important moments. There were a couple of turning points that could have made the second set really, really difficult… more than it already was.
“I’m really pleased with how I dug in and serving it out in that last game as well.
“It was another great honour to play Vika, she’s won so many Championships and Slams. It’s just a great opportunity for me to be out here.”
When asked about her mindset at this level and whether she was playing to silence critics or to send a message to other competitors in the draw, Raducanu gave an honest response.
“I think I’ve realised in the last year that people are going to talk, regardless of what you do,” she said.
“The things that I do are maybe more amplified because of my situation. I’ve just learned to really zone in internally. Today and yesterday, I didn’t really show any emotion. I didn’t let myself get high or low, I was just at one level and I think that helped.”
More to follow…