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By Richard Pagliaro | Thursday, August 4, 2022

 
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Emma Raducanu saved set points edging Camila Osorio 7-6(5), 7-6(4) in a fierce two hour, 50-minute fight to reach the Washington, DC quarterfinals.

Photo credit: Patrick Smith/Getty

Sitting on her court-side chair, Emma Raducanu had plenty of time to consider the bursting blister on her racquet hand and her blown opportunity trying to serve out this battle.

Raducanu rose from her chair and made a rousing stand.

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The US Open champion saved set points in the opening set out-dueling Camila Osorio 7-6(5), 7-6(4) in an epic Washington, D.C. baseline brawl.

A determined Raducanu scored her 10th win of the season to advance to her second quarterfinal of 2022 where she will play hard-hitting Liudmila Samsonova, a three-set winner over Ajla Tomljanovic.

Ultimately, Raducanu found life after nearly flat-lining in brutal conditions.

"I think I died about three times in that match and came back honestly," Raducanu told Rennae Stubbs. "Camila is such a battler. I was working so, so hard. Sometimes, you just got to generate over and over again. She's such a fighter."




Raducanu's resilience was a key weapon withstanding a fierce fight that spanned two hours, 50 minutes played in broiling 94-degree heat.

That battle left both women blistered and banged up—and showing beautiful mutual respect with an embrace at net afterward.




A gritty Raducanu overcame Osorio's defensive wizardry, a horror show three-double fault game when she served for the match at 5-4 and absolutely stifling, severe heat to scrape into her second quarterfinal of the season.

It wasn't always pretty—Osorio hit more than 40 errors, Raducanu committed nine double faults and inexplicably played several shots at net right back at her opponent—but both women fought with warrior zeal and refused to wilt.

It's exactly the type of test Raducanu needs ahead of her US Open title defense later this month.

The second-seeded Briton burst out to a 3-0 lead before Osorio began finding her range.

In a grueling 13-minute game played amid broiling 94-degree heat, Raducanu fought off multiple break points. Osorio ratcheted up pressure, converting her fourth break point with a shout and  clenched fist to get back on serve at 3-4.

Steamy conditions and physical sweaty points only fanned the flames of Osorio's competitive fire.

Defending everything Raducanu threw at her and forcing the Briton all over the court, Osorio gained two more break points. When Raducanu slapped her third double fault into net, Osorio snatched her first lead at 5-4.

On her first set point, Osorio double faulted deep. The Colombian double faulted away a second set point then jerked a forehand well wide as Raducanu withstood set-point pressure breaking back in the 10th game.

Credit the US Open champion for continuing to press forward when possible. Raducanu hit a few swing volleys and drove a forehand winner down the line wrapping a hard-fought hold for 6-5 and shifting pressure right back on Osorio's shoulders after 68 minutes of grueling play.

Playing determined defense, Osorio held serve to force the tiebreaker.

When Raducanu sailed a backhand and slapped a double-fault into net to fall behind 3-5 in the breaker, she briefly turned and vented at coach Dmitry Tursunov in frustration. Then got right back to work.

Drawing the defensive wizard in, Raducanu fired a backhand pass then followed with a drop shot winner to level. Stepping in to greet a 79 mph serve with disdain, Raducanu ripped a forehand return winner for set point.

Changing direction served Raducanu well in the tiebreaker. She whipped another forehand down the line sealing a steamy 81-minute set that left Raducanu forgoing the celebration in favor of donning an ice towel.

Turning up the heat, Raducanu followed a forehand forward and knocked off a crisp volley breaking for a 2-1 second-set lead.

A grueling physical first set wreaked some damage. After Osorio held for 2-3 in the second set took a medical timeout for treatment of a nasty quarter-sized blister on the bottom of her right big toe. Seeing the size of the blister—and realizing the suffering Osorio was enduring with every step—instills even more respect for her determined court coverage.

None of that mattered much to Raducanu. When play resumed, the Briton blitzed through her second straight love hold for 4-2.

Credit Osorio for saving break points to hold in game seven then earn three break points of her own in the eighth game. Raducanu saved all three only to see the tough Colombian use a lob and backhand down the line for her 10th break point of the afternoon.

Neither woman would yield. On Osorio's fifth break point, Raducanu sailed a forehand as the Colombian leveled at 4-all.

Resilience was one of Raducanu's key weapons in this match. Every time she faced a set back, she stepped up.

The 19-year-old Briton banged a backhand down the line that helped her break back for 5-4.

Serving for the quarterfinals, Raducanu spit up three double faults, including two in a row into net, to face break point.  Raducanu pushed a forehand into the middle of the net to gift serve with her sloppiest game of the match.

Osorio ran with the opportunity, sliding an ace down the T to hold for 6-5. Raducanu took a timeout for treatment on a blister to her right hand.

A gitty Raducanu held to force the second-set tiebreaker after two hours, 41 minutes.




When Osorio's running backhand went wide, Raducanu raised her Wilson racquet in the air up 4-2. Digging in with defiance, Raducanu played a tremendous defensive point, including a spinning get behind the baseline coaxing an error for match points at 6-4.  She closed on one final Osorio error.

Wouldn't it be a blast to see these two square off again in New York.


 

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