Raducanu Reaches First Semifinals of Seoul 2022; to face Ostapenko next

No. 6-seeded Emma Raducanu raced into the last four of the Hana Bank Korea Open in 77 minutes with a 6-2, 6-2 win over No. 3-seeded Magda Linette. She will fight for a spot in the final against Jelena Ostapenko, who defeated 17-year-old lucky loser Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva 6-2, 6-1 in 74 minutes.

The result marks the second tour-level semifinal of Raducanu’s career and first since winning the 2021 US Open as a qualifier. The 19-year-old is yet to drop a set in Seoul this week and next faces either No. 1 Jelena Ostapenko or 17-year-old lucky loser Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva.

Throughout the game, Raducanu hit her groundstrokes with authority and was commanding on serve, falling just a point behind her first throw. This came in particularly handy as she avoided a possible turning point in the second game of the second set.

After a one-sided first set, Linette had won two fabulous all-court exchanges to hold the triple break point for a 2-0 lead. But the Brit responded with five straight points, including four solid double strikes, to wriggle out of trouble and then scored a remarkable, chipped return-winner to break Linette in the next game.

Linette, who was on a run to the Chennai final last week and had taken 2 hours and 46 minutes to defeat Kristina Mladenovic in the previous round, received treatment on her right thigh after the third game of the second set. With a visible movement restriction, the Pole lost 14 of the next 17 points when she resumed. Though Linette rallied for a final serve, Raducanu was able to end the match with her third love hold of the day.

Ostapenko had needed tight threes in her first two rounds this week to get past wild card Jeong Boyoung and Anastasia Gasanova in 141st place. But the Latvian, who saved a match point against Gasanova, put on her cleanest performance yet against Jimenez Kasintseva.

Meet Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva, Andorra’s teenage pioneer

Jimenez Kasintseva in 180th made her quarter-final debut at tour level and a powerful left-handed forehand hit gave the Andorran an early 2-0 lead. But Ostapenko reigned supreme, keeping her double fault record at five and taking control of the match with an eight-game streak.

Ostapenko advances to her fifth semi-final of the year and first since reaching Eastbourne’s final in June.

Highlights: Ostapenko d. Jimenez Kasintseva | Alexandrova the Elder Sun | Maria D. zhou

In the lower half semifinals in Seoul, No. 2 Ekaterina Alexandrova will face No. 7 Tatyana Maria. Alexandrova secured a set point in the tiebreak of the second set to defeat Swiss qualifier No. 340 Lulu Sun 7-5, 7-6 (6) and advance to her fourth semifinal of 2022.

It took Maria just 59 minutes to defeat No. 4 seed Zhu Lin 6-1, 6-1, outsmarting the defending champion with her variety of spins and superb touch at the net. The German mother of two is in her third semi-final of the season after Bogota and Wimbledon.

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