US Open 2017: British teen Katie Swan through to women’s semifinals

Written by Staff Writer by Sara Moulton, CNN

A pair of dominant British athletes reached the US Open semifinal on Tuesday night.

Teenager Katie Swan, 17, survived a major scare against Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic before winning 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, while partner Katie Boulter, 17, won a 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over American Sofia Kenin.

Before that, Chen Long — the reigning women’s champion at the Swiss Open — saw off an impressive challenge from US Open favorite Sloane Stephens, defeating the American 6-1, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals of the tournament.

At the start of the day’s play at Flushing Meadows, it was a low-key affair until Rafael Nadal got the match going with a 6-2, 6-4 win over American John Isner.

Nadal and Isner face each other in the quarterfinals.

However, it was a clash of Britain against France which provided one of the most thrilling matches.

Falkirk’s Swan, who will turn 18 on Saturday, had won only one previous match against her 20-year-old opponent before Tuesday, and fell behind 6-1 before pulling it back to 5-3.

After playing well in the second set, the Briton broke her French opponent twice in the decider to secure victory.

‘They really need to learn from this’

From the moment she jumped in the air in celebration to the time she laid on the court in tears after her match with Mladenovic was over, Swan revealed she felt physically exhausted after the encounter.

“It was really tough, I lost the first set and was just trying to regroup,” Swan told reporters after the match.

“She’s just a real fighter — it’s just one of those things that makes you want to play better.

“I saw her warming up before the match, and when I came into the match I was like: ‘I think I need to be a little bit harder and just give it a go.’”

Watch CNN’s complete coverage of the 2017 US Open here.

Fernandez, meanwhile, looked cool under pressure as she claimed a 7-6 (8), 6-1 victory against Svitolina.

“I was really calm,” Fernandez said. “I saw the first set I was feeling pretty well, actually.

“But I know she’s such a fighter so I knew it was going to be a tough match and I was just glad I got through it.”

The young star, who turned 17 on Friday, said she was unaware that her opponent would be playing in her first semi-final at a Grand Slam until after the match had started.

“I didn’t really know,” Fernandez said. “I think I noticed when she was in the second round because I had heard about it.

“But I didn’t know it was a first time. That’s really cool.”

The young British player will face 28th seed Madison Keys in the semi-finals after she defeated 17th seed Daria Kasatkina 7-6 (7), 6-4.

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