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‘People are going to talk regardless!’ Raducanu dismisses pressure, crushes Azarenka to reach Cincy last 16

Emma Raducanu defeated Victoria Azarenka 6-0, 6-2 on Wednesday evening and will play American Jessica Pegula, the No 7 seed, in the next round

Emma Raducanu Emma Raducanu (GBR) reacts to a shot during TuesdayÕs first round of the Western and Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, Mason, Oh.(Zuma/Panoramic)

No 10 seed Emma Raducanu reached the last 16 of the Western & Southern Open by winning against Belarusian Victoria Azarenka 6-0, 6-2 at the Linder Tennis Family Center in Cincinnati on Wednesday evening.

That followed another thumping win and a bagel set dished out to Serena Williams, 6-4, 6-0 in the first round.

And the British No 1 hinted that she was finally learning to deal with the pressure ahead of defending her title at the US Open later in the month.

“I think I’ve realised in the last year people are going to talk regardless of what you do,” she said afterwards. “Things I do are more amplified of my situation. I’ve learned to zone in internally. Today and yesterday I didn’t show any emotion, I didn’t let myself get high or low, I was one level, I think that helped.”

Raducanu: I had to stay focused against Azarenka

The 19-year-old was, of course, very respectful of her opponent, despite the resounding nature of the win.

“I was playing a great match, for sure. To play Vika I had to stay really focused throughout. I could feel the important moments and a couple of turning points that could have made the second set more difficult than it already was.”

And she added: “It was another great honour to play Vika, she’s won so many championships. It’s a great opportunity for me to be out here.”

Raducanu, ranked No 13, will face American Jessica Pegula, the No 7 seed, next.

Ahead of her victory, Emma Raducanu beat American Serena Williams (6-4, 6-0).

Azarenka, ranked No 22, defeated Estonian Kaia Kanepi (6-3, 4-6, 6-3) in the previous round of the Cincy Open.

Cincinnati WTA 1000, other second-round results (Linder Tennis Family Center, hard, USD 2.527.250, most recent results first):

  • Paula Badosa vs. Ajla Tomljanovic
  • Shelby Rogers vs. Amanda Anisimova
  • Aryna Sabalenka vs. Anna Kalinskaya
  • Veronika Kudermetova vs. Simona Halep
  • Madison Keys vs. Jelena Ostapenko
  • Elena Rybakina vs. Garbine Muguruza
  • Iga Swiatek vs. Sloane Stephens
  • Elise Mertens beat Karolina Pliskova (14): 7-6 (3), 6-3
  • Jessica Pegula beat Marta Kostyuk: 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-2
  • Marie Bouzkova vs. Alison Riske-Amritraj
  • Shuai Zhang beat Ekaterina Alexandrova: 6-3, 6-4
  • Ons Jabeur (5) beat Catherine McNally (WC): 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7)
  • Petra Kvitova beat Sorana Cirstea: 6-2, 6-3
  • Caroline Garcia (Q) beat Maria Sakkari (4): 7-6 (2), 6-7 (6), 6-1
  • Anett Kontaveit (2) beat Tereza Martincova (Q): 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
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