Emma Raducanu edges out Camila Osorio to reach Citi Open quarter-final

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<span>Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA</span>
Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

In the suffocating, repulsive heat and humidity of a brutal Washington DC summer, Emma Raducanu navigated the conditions and her incessant opponent alike to pull off one of the more resilient wins of her career, overcoming Camila Osorio of Colombia 7-6(5), 7-6(4) in two hours, 50 minutes to reach the quarter-finals of the Citi Open.

“I think I died about three times in that match and then came back,” she said. “Honestly, I don’t know how. Camila is such a battler. Every single point I was working so, so hard. Sometimes it wasn’t necessarily the strongest shots but you’ve just got to generate, generate over and over again.”

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As Raducanu’s daunting US Open title defence comes further into view, she moves into only her second tour quarter-final of the year and fourth in her short career. Having comfortably dispatched the qualifier Louisa Chirico in the opening round, awaiting Raducanu in the second round was one of the grittier players of their generation.

What 20-year-old Osorio lacks in raw firepower, she makes up for with her elite footspeed, defence and boundless tenacity. Raducanu broke serve early but Osorio methodically dragged Raducanu into exhausting rallies in 35 degree heat and 51% humidity.

From 4-1, Raducanu conceded four games in a row, double faulting on break point at 4-4. But Raducanu recovered, saving two set points on Osorio’s serve before reaching a tiebreak, where she trailed 3-5. When she most needed it, Raducanu found sufficient quality to distance herself from the No. 67, taking the set after 82 exhausting minutes.

With the first set secured, Raducanu imposed her greater weight of shot and positioned herself for a simpler set, but her serve crumbled as she stood a game away. At 5-4, 30-15, she served two double faults and then dumped a forehand into the bottom of the net. But she recovered once again, dragging Osorio to a tie-break where she eked out the 88-minute second set.

Throughout this tough first full year on the tour, Raducanu’s body has too often been her biggest obstacle. Injuries have been constant and seasoned opponents have exposed her inferior physicality. Overcoming such a difficult physical challenge should provide her with more confidence in her durability.

This was far from her best level, a supremely ugly win, but she showed her resilience as she survived, giving herself a new opportunity. She will next face Ludmilla Samsonova, who defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

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