‘Weren’t you slagging her off?’ Brit teen Raducanu blasts into US Open semis – as fans accuse Piers Morgan of cynical shift
British teenager Emma Raducanu continued her New York fairytale by overpowering Belinda Bencic to reach the semi-finals of the US Open – forcing TV personality Piers Morgan into an apparent change of tune.
Having come through qualifying, Raducanu has set the tournament alight on her run to the last four, not dropping a single set and now counting recently-crowned Olympic queen Bencic as her latest scalp.
Raducanu, 18, overcame an early break of serve to rattle off five straight games on her way to winning the first set 6-3 on Arthur Ashe Stadium, before clinching the second 6-4 against the Swiss 11th seed.
Raducanu joins fellow teen sensation Leylah Fernandez of Canada in the last four, and the pair could still set up an unlikely final.
Fernandez, 19, will meet Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in her next clash, while Raducanu will face either Czech star Karolina Pliskova or Maria Sakkari of Greece.
Raducanu – who was born in Toronto, Canada, to a Romanian father and Chinese mother – moved to the UK at the age of two.
She first made major headlines on home soil at Wimbledon earlier this season, reaching the fourth round before being forced to retire with breathing difficulties.Also on rt.com ‘Toughen up’: Morgan backs McEnroe as he scolds Brit teen star Raducanu for retiring at Wimbledon with ‘breathing difficulties’
She became the target of ire from the likes of TV personality Piers Morgan, who backed suggestions that the youngster had lacked the fortitude to handle the occasion.
Morgan, however, was singing a very different tune on Wednesday – and tennis fans were quick to call out his apparent hypocrisy.
Until she loses and you start criticising her— sam dawkins (@samdawkins1234) September 8, 2021
Weren’t you slagging her off at Wimbledon Piers? Pipe down— Andy (@aanjrew) September 8, 2021
Elsewhere there was lavish praise for one of the game’s brightest young things, including from the likes of Morgan's arch-rival Gary Lineker and former British tennis ace Anne Keothavong.
What a performance. What a triumph. What a future. 18 year old @EmmaRaducanu is through to the semifinals of the US Open. Stunning. Well played. 👏🏻👏🏻— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) September 8, 2021
At the start of Wimbledon, Emma Raducanu was ranked No 10 in Britain and No 338 in the world.Two months later, the 18-year-old is guaranteed to replace Johanna Konta as the British No 1 on Monday, projected to rise to world No 51 as it stands. #USOpen— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) September 8, 2021
"To have so many young players here doing so well shows how strong the next generation is," said Raducanu herself after her victory.
"Everyone is on their trajectory, so I am just here doing what I can control and it is my own journey."
In reaching the last four, Raducanu becomes the youngest semi-finalist in New York since Russia's Maria Sharapova in 2005.