Emma Raducanu stressed that she “died about three times” during her match against Camila Osorio as the Brit dug deep to reach the Citi Open quarter-finals.
The British number one overcame the Colombian in sweltering conditions in Washington, with both players being forced to take medical timeouts to treat blisters.
In the end, the US Open championed triumphed in straight sets, 7-6 7-6, but the scoreline certainly didn’t reflect how gruelling the three-hour match proved to be for the second seed.
The 19-year-old showed impressive resilience to save set points in the 10th game of the first set and she eventually won the set in a tense tie-break.
In the second set, Raducanu looked to be in control at 4–2 ahead but then lost her serve as she started to struggle with blisters.
Having suffered from the same problem at the Australian Open earlier this year, it was unclear how this might impact the Brit, but she returned to hold serve and force another tie-break.
And as the three-hour mark approached, Raducanu sealed victory on her first match point, after the Colombians sent a service return wide.
Raducanu shows great resilience
After the match, Raducanu praised her fighting spirit and her ability to hold her nerve under pressure.
“I think I died about three times in that match and I came back,” she joked. “Honestly, I don’t know how [she did it.]
“Camila is such a battler. I was working so hard for every single point.”
Raducanu’s long matches continue
Raducanu’s gripping match with Osorio lasted two hours and 50 minutes in total and it’s far from the first marathon contest the Brit has had this year.
At Indian Wells, the teenager lost in two hours and 46 minutes to Petra Martic in the round of 32, before being defeated by Katerina Siniakova in two hours, 55 minutes, at the Miami Open two weeks later.
While the Brit has often ended up on the losing end of these long matches, this win against Osorio perhaps shows that her physicality and mental strength are beginning to improve.
Who will Raducanu play next?
Next up for Raducanu is the big-hitting Liudmila Samsonova. The Russian is currently ranked 28th in the world and made her top 25 debut earlier this season.
“She is a big ball striker and has the ability to take the game out of your hands, so for me it’s just about recovery as best as I can for tomorrow,” Raducanu said of her next opponent.
“Both of us are going to be feeling it, and it’s a matter of who is going to stay tough.”
Raducanu has not made the semi-finals of a tournament since winning in New York last year and a run in Washington would be the perfect start to the American hard-court swing.