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US Open: Emma Raducanu defeats Stefanie Vogele to reach second round

Emma Raducanu produces a performance beyond her years to defeat world No 128 Stefanie Vogele and reach the second round of the US Open where she will play China's Zhang Shuai; the 18-year-old from Bromley lights up New York on debut

Emma Raducanu reacts during a qualifying match at the 2021 US Open, Friday, Aug. 27, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Darren Carroll/USTA)
Image: Emma Raducanu rolled into US Open second round with a brilliant victory (Darren Carroll/USTA)

Emma Raducanu followed up her Wimbledon exploits - where she reached the last 16 as a wild card - with a 6-2 6-3 first-round win over Stefanie Vogele at the US Open.

The 18-year-old, making her overseas Grand Slam main draw debut, cruised past lucky loser Vogele in 79 minutes.

Raducanu is a fast-rising talent who reached the final of the WTA Challenger event in Chicago last week. That run has helped her climb to No 150 in the latest WTA rankings.

She had seen her scheduled first-round opponent, Jennifer Brady, withdraw due to injury.

Brady, the 13th seed and 2021 Australian Open runner-up, picked up a knee problem meaning the British teenager took on Swiss world No 128 Vogele instead.

Raducanu, who fought through three rounds of qualifying, put in another impressive performance with 24 winners to chalk off another milestone in her fledgling career, despite requiring seven match points in temperatures hitting 29
degrees in New York.

She has yet to drop a set and will now meet China's Zhang Shuai for a place in the third round on Thursday.

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"It's absolutely amazing," Raducanu told Amazon Prime. "I think everybody could tell I was getting a bit shaky in the last game, but I got there in the end and I was so relieved at the end of it and the crowd helped me so much and it felt amazing to be playing in front of fans again and over here in the States they've made me feel so welcome and so at home so I'm really appreciative.

"I've been playing on the hard courts in the states for a few weeks now so I'm quite used to the conditions and the heat so I feel really good physically and really confident in my game so I'm really excited to see how far I can go.

"I'm extremely pleased. I got broken early in both sets but managed to get a few returns very clean out the middle sort of by luck, sort of by skill but I'll take it and run with it and use it to my advantage."

Katie Boulter during a Women's Singles match at the 2021 US Open, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Kathryn Riley/USTA)
Image: Katie Boulter's defeat means Raducanu and Dan Evans are the last Brits standing in the draw (Kathryn Riley/USTA)

Fellow Brit Katie Boulter was unable to follow Raducanu into the second round.

The 25-year-old came through qualifying to make her main draw debut but lost 6-3 6-2 to Russia's Ludmilla Samsonova.

A poor service game gave Samsonova an early break and Boulter failed to convert any of the four break points she created to level the first set.

Two further breaks in the second set saw Samsonova complete her victory in an hour and 12 minutes.

World No 1 Ashleigh Barty began her bid for a third Grand Slam title by beating 2010 US Open runner-up Vera Zvonareva 6-1 7-6 (9-7).

"I was disappointed not to be able to come and play last year but playing this time with the fans has made it all the better," the 25-year-old said in her on-court interview.

Next up for Barty is a second-round meeting with Danish teenager Clara Tauson.

Czech fourth seed and former finalist Karolina Pliskova fired eight aces, including one on her second match point, to beat American Caty McNally 6-3 6-4.

Pliskova, who made the final at Flushing Meadows in 2016, will face another American next in the shape of Amanda Anisimova.

Elsewhere, Olympic champion Belinda Bencic started her US Open campaign with a 6-4 6-4 win against Arantxa Rus.

"I'm still on cloud nine, I would say," the Swiss 11th seed said with a smile. Of course, I'm focusing on this tournament and just on playing well. But I feel like I want to be on cloud nine all the time."

Sixth seed Bianca Andreescu won in her first match on Arthur Ashe since claiming the title in 2019.

The 21-year-old Canadian seemed to be suffering from stomach cramps in the second set but battled to a 7-5 4-6 7-5 victory over Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic.

Seven seed Iga Swiatek beat Jamie Loeb in straight sets and American Jessica Pegula, the 23rd seed, made the second round with a 6-2 6-2 victory over Anastasia Potapova.

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