US Open 2021: Raducanu and Fernandez star once more but brave Alcaraz succumbs

Even if Fernandez and/or Raducanu do also join Alcaraz in exiting the Open at this next hurdle, the tournament has undeniably centered around their emergence. But we need to be mindful of how tennis’ Next Big Things often crumble and fall with worrying speed. Yes, for me personally with Raducanu – such is her oh-so-watchable aggressive and intelligent game – it will be difficult to stay grounded. But think of Ostapenko, Bouchard and in the rarer case of the men, someone like Donald Young. This brilliant New York Times article rightly mentions Osaka and Swiatek as potential current examples, although I severely hope that proves to be as accurate as my own terrible predictions.

Back to the tennis itself, and Fernandez and Raducanu were irresistible again, but for different reasons. The Canadian showed grit, belief and composure beyond her years in a 3 set battle with Svitolina who must have fancied her chances to finally deliver on all of the promise. Raducanu – after another shaky start against Bencic who represented a real step up – simply applied intelligent shot selection and went on the offensive, chasing winners and finishing points early.

Elsewhere, Novak repeated his Wimbledon scoreline over Berrettini, coming through in four and having to produce his best to do so. Medvedev lost his first set of the tournament but still had too much for van de Zandschulp. Zverev still looks very strong too.

Young Alcaraz retired down a set and a break against Auger-Aliassime. A right abductor injury proving to be the only thing capable of stopping the Spanish youngster.

Sabalenka proved far too good for a disappointing Krejcikova and dark horse Sakkari downed the in-form but on the night flat Pliskova.

Semi Final predictions

Zverev to beat Djokovic in 4

Medvedev to beat Auger-Aliassime in 3

Raducanu to beat Sakkari in 2

Sabalenka to beat Fernandez in 3

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