Emma Raducanu appeared to shade Martina Navratilova during her post-match interview at the Cincinnati Masters.
The British tennis star thrashed Victoria Azarenka 6-0 6-2 to reach the last 16 and set up a meeting with seventh seed Jessica Pegula.
It was another dominant display from the US Open champion, who had defeated Serena Williams in emphatic fashion just 18 hours before.
After the match, Raducanu was in good spirits and stressed that she was happy with her performance.
“In the second set. I could feel the important moments and a couple of turning points that could have made the second set really difficult,” she said.
“I am really pleased with how I dug in, and serving it out in that last game was really difficult.”
Emma Raducanu follows up her win against Serena Williams by thrashing Victoria Azarenka 6-0 6-2 🇬🇧— GiveMeSportW (@GiveMeSportW) August 17, 2022
Hitting form at just the right time ahead of the US Open 👊 pic.twitter.com/dnflfkHRbW
Raducanu shades Navratilova
Following her on-court interview, Raducanu spoke with Navratilova for Prime Video. The 18-time major champion pointed out that the teenager hasn’t played this well since New York last year, prompting the Brit to reference Navratilova’s criticism of her in recent months.
“Yeah I know, you’ve made me really aware of my past 12 months Martina,” she joked.
Indeed, Navratilova has made a number of comments about the US Open champion.
“I don’t think she’s fit enough, her forehand looks a bit dodgy, she’s not hitting through the ball,” she said of Raducanu back in June.
At the start of the year, Navratilova also suggested the 19-year-old would have a target on her back.
“The pressure’s going to be on her emotionally, as well,” she stressed. “Being a Brit, she’s under a huge microscope, and it’s hard to get away from it. We’ll see.”
Despite criticising Raducanu at times, Navratilova has also praised Raducanu’s ability and stressed that her achievement at the US Open should not be knocked.
“Listen, she’s done something that has never been done before and will probably never be done again, so shut up. She’ll figure it out.”
Raducanu hitting form
Having endured a difficult year, Raducanu seems to have hit form at just the right time ahead of her US Open defence.
In her first ever career meeting with Williams on Tuesday, the Brit dealt with the partizan crowd superbly –– hitting 14 winners and registering just one unforced error.
Against Azarenka, Raducanu maintained this level and won the first 10 games in succession, with her forehand continuing to be a weapon.
The teenager wrapped up the match in just over an hour to set up a meeting with another home crowd favourite in Pegula.
Since winning in New York last year, Raducanu is yet to win three matches in a row but will take confidence from how easily she dominated against two of the greatest players of this millennium.
Having been hampered by injury issues all year, the Brit will also be pleased to have come through both matches in straight sets.
It’s still early days, but the same fearlessness and steely determination that was evident at Flushing Meadows last year appears to be re-appearing.