Emma Raducanu, who fell in the first round of her title defense at the US Open, bounced back with an encouraging semifinal run in Seoul this week. Other than her surprise victory as a qualifier a year ago at Flushing Meadows, it's her first tour-level semifinal in her first full pro season.

"I think it is pretty cool to be in my first semifinal and build my way on the tour in the right way. I think it is quite a nice reward for all the hard work I have done on the practice court and a lot of hours. It is a really nice feeling," said Raducanu.

Apart from adjusting to her big win, Raducanu was having a tough 2022 often affected by illness and injury, going 14-17 and falling from a career-high No. 10 to No. 77 this week. But her game appeared to be getting better at Cincinnati—where she defeated Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka—before being tripped up in New York by Alizé Cornet.

"I'm happy with the way that I'm building my game back up and progressing. And trying to set myself as best as possible up for next year and also just to improve my game," said Raducanu.

And now no longer a reigning Grand Slam champion, she can climb the ranks under less pressure, unlike her rapid rise in 2021.

"I think I'm taking on the challenges," she said.

Raducanu ultimately bowed out to Jelena Ostapenko, retiring down 0-3 in the third set with a left glute injury. Ostapenko, a former event champion, advanced to face Ekaterina Alexandrova.