Emma Raducanu storms into Korea Open semi-finals with win over Linette

British No 1 eases to 6-2, 6-2 victory in Seoul quarter-final
Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko awaits in last four

Far away from the spotlight that has followed her every move over the past year, Emma Raducanu took her first notable steps forward since losing her US Open title as she reached her first WTA tour semi-final at the Korea Open in Seoul with a smooth and clinical performance, defeating Magda Linette of Poland 6-2, 6-2.

“You’ve got to mark the moment, in a way,” said Raducanu. “I think it’s pretty cool to have made my first semi-final and build my way on the tour the right way. And going through the stages. I think it is quite a nice reward for the hard work that I have done on the practice court and a lot of hours. It is a really nice feeling.”

With her victory, the sixth seed Raducanu has won three consecutive matches for the first time since winning the US Open and only the third time in her career at the top level. Raducanu will face a fellow one-time grand slam champion in Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, the top seed, who defeated the 17-year-old Andorran Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva 6-2, 6-1.

After losing in the first round of the US Open to Alizé Cornet, her ranking falling from No 11 to No 83, Raducanu spoke of her hope that the end of that cycle would enable her to approach the next chapter of her career with a clean slate, following her success in New York a year earlier.

It did not immediately lead to success. Last week, Raducanu lost in the second round of a WTA 250 event in Portoroz, Slovenia to No 213 Anna-Lena Friedsam, and she arrived in Seoul accompanied by some uncertainty.

Instead, Raducanu steadied herself with two straight sets wins over players ranked outside the top 100 but Friday’s quarter-final, against a capable, in-form opponent who reached the final of the WTA 250 in Chennai last week, required her to step up.

Raducanu played an accomplished match against Linette, the third seed and world No 51, producing some of her best tennis of the year. She showcased the attacking brand of tennis that led to her early success, particularly striking her forehand with far greater freedom under pressure. Now she will play for the chance to reach her first WTA final.