Emma Raducanu reached the quarter-finals of the Korea Open after easing to a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer on Thursday. The British No 1 and tournament sixth seed took one hour and 40 minutes in Seoul to continue rebuilding after her recent first-round exit from the US Open, the event that propelled her to stardom last year.
Last week’s Slovenia Open lasted only a round longer, but in Seoul she displayed the resolve needed to overcome a fightback from Wickmayer as a 4-1 lead in the second set ebbed away.
Wickmayer had dropped to 460 in the rankings when she took a spell out of the game after the birth of her first child in 2021, but she was a dangerous opponent who grew stronger in the match.
Raducanu, who faces Magda Linette of Poland in the last eight, was unable to make the most of a break point in the third game but she dominated the fifth, winning without dropping a point to gain a crucial foothold in the opening set.
Her earlier composure deserted her when next serving and she doubled-faulted at the crucial moment to concede the lead.
But Wickmayer wobbled on her serve once again and Raducanu took full control of the ninth game, taking the set through a mixture of commanding shots and errors from her opponent.
It took grit, an ace and an excellent forehand for Raducanu to preserve her advantage as the second set opened with an 11-minute game and in a flash she had eased 3-0 ahead.
A collapse followed as 3-0 became 4-3 and despite a superb backhand passing shot executed on the run, Raducanu was coming under heavy pressure
Every point had become a battleground but match point arrived and when Wickmayer sent a shot long Raducanu was through to the last eight.