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Emma Raducanu beats Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer to advance to quarter-finals of Korea Open

Emma Raducanu beats Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer in the last 16 of the Korea Open; Raducanu's ranking has dropped to 77 but, with few points now to defend over the next 12 months, she will look to climb back towards the top of the game at a steadier pace

Emma Raducanu of Britain shouts after winning against Moyuka Uchijima of Japan during their first-round match of the Korea Open tennis championships in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Image: Emma Raducanu will now face third seed Magda Linette in the quarter-finals in Seoul

Emma Raducanu recorded a straight-sets win over Yanina Wickmayer to reach the quarter-finals of the Korea Open where experienced Pole Magda Linette awaits.

The win sets Raducanu up for a quarter-final against Poland's Magda Linette.

She eased to a 6-3 7-5 victory over Belgium's Wickmayer in one hour and 40 minutes.

Emma Raducanu
Image: Emma Raducanu progresses to the quarter-finals at the Korea Open

In Seoul, Raducanu displayed the resolve needed to overcome a fightback from Wickmayer as a 4-1 lead in the second set ebbed away.

Former world No 12 Wickmayer had dropped to 460 in the rankings after taking a spell out of the game following the birth of her first child in 2021, but she was a dangerous opponent who grew stronger in the match.

Raducanu was unable to make the most of a break point in the third game but she dominated the fifth, winning without dropping a point to gain a crucial foothold in the opening set.

Yet her earlier composure deserted her when next serving and she double-faulted at the crucial moment to concede the lead.

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But Wickmayer wobbled on her serve once again and Raducanu took full control of the ninth, taking the set through a mixture of commanding shots and errors from her opponent.

It took grit, an ace and an excellent forehand for Raducanu to preserve her advantage as the second set opened with an 11-minute game and in a flash, she had eased 3-0 ahead.

A collapse followed as 3-0 became 4-3 and despite a superb backhand passing shot executed on the run, Raducanu was coming under heavy pressure from the determined Belgian.

Every point had become a battleground but match point arrived in the 12th and when Wickmayer sent a shot long, Raducanu was through to the last eight.

Third seed Linette battled past France's Kristina Mladenovic in three sets, and Raducanu said: "It's so important to take it one match at a time because Linette is a challenging opponent.

"She made the final last week and she's really experienced. She's had many, many years more than me on the tour."

'My goal is to stay in Korea for as long as possible'

22 April 2022, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Stuttgart: Tennis: WTA Tour - Stuttgart, singles, women, quarterfinals. Swiatek (Poland) - Raducanu (Great Britain). Emma Raducanu reacts in the match. Photo by: Tom Weller/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Image: Raducanu is working with coach Dmitry Tursunov

The British no 1 and sixth seed in this tournament, Raducanu is determined to make progress after her disappointingly early exit from the US Open and second-round defeat at last week's Slovenia Open.

"My goal on the court is to keep trying to swing freer and freer in each match. And my other goal is to try and stay in Korea for as long as possible," she said on Wednesday.

Raducanu also spoke about her physical condition, and her coach Dmitry Tursunov, who she has been working with since the summer, trying to help her to "become more easy-going".

"Last week I struggled a bit with my legs, just doing a lot of training, and as I said, the rest of this year is just really trying to build up physically for the next year," she added.

"So I'm training a lot - like before the match today, I did 90 minutes on the court, and I'm just trying to get myself in good shape.

"And that comes sometimes with small niggles. At the moment, it's something I'm just managing, but I know it's for a greater benefit so I've kind of bought into that process.

"I have definitely done more since starting with Dmitry. I have done a lot more hours, and that's something he and the other people in my team think is quite necessary, and myself included, just getting more robust, so long matches, or matches in a row, don't affect me.

"And I think also just not trying to over-complicate things for myself, he's helping with that, because sometimes I enjoy doing that, thinking of worst-possible outcome, and just over-thinking it. So he's also trying to help me become more easy-going."

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