World No. 18 Maria Sakkari insists she absolutely won't be taking qualifier world No. 150 Emma Raducanu for granted when they meet in the US Open semifinal. Raducanu, who has won a total of eight matches at this year's US Open, hasn't dropped a set en route to making her maiden Grand Slam semifinal at the age of 18 and Sakkari is impressed by the rising British star.
"Well, she's a new player on tour so I don't know much about her. Obviously she's having the tournament of her life. She deserves to be here. She has won all these matches," Sakkari said of Raducanu. "But I wouldn't call myself the favorite.
I think we all have equal chances of winning the semifinals and then winning the title. I would give 25% to each starting tomorrow, then 50 to the two finalists. "We are all for a reason here. We're all playing well. It was not like we had - how many matches? - five walkovers.
I'm excited to play a second semifinal this year."
Sakkari hopes to do better this time
Sakkari earned her second Grand Slam semifinal appearance following a 6-4 6-4 win over Karolina Pliskova. In this year's French Open semifinal, Sakkari suffered a disappointing loss as Barbora Krejcikova edged out the Greek 7-5 4-6 9-7.
"Well, the thing that I will try to do better this time is, if I'm in a position where -- I remember that match at the French really well. I had breakpoints to go double break up in the first set. That would change a lot of things for the first set that I lost.
I could have closed that match at the third set. I think I will do things differently this time," Sakkari explained. "But I feel like my tennis is better now than it was at the French. I'm more prepared. I'm ready.
But as I mentioned earlier, we all have equal chances of making the finals. It's just that I'm going to play another match. "It doesn't matter that she's lower ranked. She's a great player. I'm just going to go for it and enjoy because this atmosphere today was insane, was crazy, was very nice."