Citi Open: Raducanu, Osorio Share Massive Respect And They’re Friends, Too

Emma Raducanu and Camila Osorio (photo: Peter Staples/Citi Open)

WASHINGTON, August 5, 2022 (by Michael Dickens)

At the end of their nearly-three-hour, second-round battle at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. Thursday afternoon, No. 2 seed Emma Raducanu of Great Britain and Colombia’s Camila Osorio shared a warm embrace at the net that spoke volumes.

There was a lot of mutual respect between the competitors – it comes from the two having played juniors together, plus they’re about the same age (Raducanu is 19 and Osorio is 20) – and, as it turns out, they are also friends off the court.

However, the World No. 10 Raducanu and 67th-ranked Osorio put their friendship aside for the afternoon and locked into quite a record-setting battle on Stadium court.

As Raducanu explained during her post-match press conference following her 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) win over Osorio that lasted two hours and 50 minutes, making it the longest straight-sets WTA match this season: “We do know each other. She’s a really, really nice girl.

“I was in Mexico earlier this year, and she was teaching me a little bit of Spanish. I think she’s a great person, but you know, when you’re on the court playing someone, you’re both going at it and at each other.

“But in the end of the match, of course, it was massive respect. I think at the end, as well, she was really, really nice, which is not necessarily easy after losing in three hours.”

In advancing to her second quarterfinal of the season, Raducanu overcame blisters on her hands and 51 unforced errors. Meanwhile, Osorio needed medical attention for blisters on her feet. At the conclusion, it wasn’t the prettiest of victories for Raducanu – it was hard-fought against a very talented and committed opponent in Osorio – but one she’ll remember and learn from.

“Yeah, I think for me it was a pretty monumental effort to really get through that,” Raducanu said. “I think there were many moments in both sets where, you know, you want to go for the easy option of trying to finish the point early. But, yeah, I’m just really pleased and proud of how I dug in when it really, you know, it mattered.”

Luckily for Raducanu and Osorio, their match ended shortly before thunderstorms arrived in the Washington, D.C. area, which suspended play twice – including just seven minutes after the next Stadium court match, pitting Nick Kyrgios and Reilly Opelka, had started – and eventually, play was called off for the evening shortly before 10 p.m. In all, Kyrgios and Opelka managed to get in about an hour and nine minutes of play in between stoppages. When they resume on Friday, Krygios will have a one-set lead, 7-6 (1) and is on serve at 2-1 in the second set. Opelka is ahead on service aces 10-8.

“Yeah, I think first we were pretty lucky to get it done before it started chucking it down,” Raducanu said, using a British slang term for raining heavily. “You always have that in your mind on the court, as well. You’re thinking of the rain, that’s going to come, because you see the clouds and it’s important not to let that affect you. You might want to rush things a bit.

“But I am really pleased of course to get through that match. It was three hours on the court, and I actually warmed upfor like an hour this morning. So, I have had a lot of court time.

“Yeah, it just gives you a lot of confidence coming through a match like that. Physically, I’m pretty pleased with how I held up in that match, and, yeah, looking forward to going again.”

On Friday, Raducanu will face unseeded, 60th-ranked Liudmila Samsonova of Russia, who earlier overcame the mid-day heat that baked Stadium court and beat No. 69 Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, in two hours and 14 minutes.

Around the Citi Open

• It’s inevitable that rain and the worst of the summer heat and humidity Washington D.C. has to offer would finally appear at the Citi Open. That the rain finally held off until early Thursday evening is surprising. However, when it did happen, a pretty good thunderstorm made its way through the Beltway.

Play was suspended from 6:10 p.m. until nearly 8 p.m. There were two matches in progress – Nick Kyrgios against Reilly Opelka on Stadium court and Frances Tiafoe versus Botic van de Zandschulp on John Harris court. Soon, three others were started. No. 5 seed Grigor Dimitrov began his third-round match against Sebastian Korda and there were men’s and women’s doubles quarterfinals in action, too. After the rain returned less than an hour later, play was never resumed as thunderstorms spread across the region. These five matches plus five more that were never started will be part of a very busy Friday order of play.

Before the rain came, a total of nine out of 19 matches had been completed. Local temperatures soared to 95 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity made it feel like 105 degrees on the court. The brutal August heat forced No. 3 seed Taylor Fritz to retire from fatigue during the third set of his third-round match against No. 16 seed Daniel Evans. Fritz trailed 3-6, 7-6 (6), 4-1 when he retired.

• Earlier Thursday, No. 115 Mikael Ymer of Sweden reached his sixth career ATP Tour quarterfinal and first at the 500 level with a 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-4 victory over 46th-ranked Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland on the Grandstand court. The victory for Ymer, his first against Ruusuvuori in three meetings, lasted nearly three hours. It advanced him to face either No. 5 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria or 54th-ranked American Sebastian Korda. Dimitrov won the first set 6-4 before play was suspended and rescheduled for Friday.

In advancing to his third quarterfinal of the season, Ymer said afterward in press that on court he felt okay, “but conditions are very tough.

“I think we are playing one of the toughest sports on this planet, because besides dealing with the heat, you also have to constantly like make so many decisions.”

On a more positive note, Ymer said he’s having fun, feeling good outside and drawing energy from the D.C. crowd. “I’m usually able to transfer that to on the court. I am just enjoying a lot of things that Washington has to offer in general,” he said.

• Qualifier Wang Xiyu of China, ranked 95th, rallied to beat No. 86 Donna Vekic of Croatia, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, to reach the quarterfinal round. She awaits either No. 4 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus or No. 73 Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic, who never made it on court. Their scheduled second-round match was one of 10 matches carried over to Friday because of Thursday evening’s wash out.

Thursday’s Citi Open ATP results

Thursday’s Citi Open WTA results

Friday’s Citi Open order of play

By the numbers

Reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu‘s second-round 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) victory over Camila Osorio Thursday afternoon lasted two hours and 50 minutes, making it the longest straight-sets WTA main-draw match this year.

“Quotable …”

“I run a lot, because my dad was a runner. So, you know, when I run in the heat, I can just, you know, focus, okay, the next step, grind it out. But here you are grinding, and at the same time you have this opponent that you have to beat.

“I really would put tennis up there in one of the tougher sports. Besides that, I think it was a great battle.”

Mikael Ymer of Sweden, commenting in his post-match press conference about both the weather and the challenge of facing fellow Scandinavian Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland.