Emma Raducanu: the new British No. 1 in the US Open final against Leylah Fernandez | Tennis News


Raz Mirza

Interviews, comments and analyzes @RazMirza

Emma Raducanu qualifies for the US Open final against compatriot Leylah Fernandez; 18-year-old becomes the first qualifier in history – male or female – to reach a Grand Slam final and is the first Briton to reach a slam final in 44 years, since Virginia Wade in 1977

Last updated: 09/10/21 11:34

Emma Raducanu became the youngest Grand Slam finalist since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 and Barry Cowan says she has

Emma Raducanu became the youngest Grand Slam finalist since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 and Barry Cowan says she has “the full package”

Emma Raducanu became the youngest Grand Slam finalist since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 and Barry Cowan says she has “the full package”

Britain’s Emma Raducanu continued to rewrite the history books by becoming the first qualifier to make a Grand Slam final, advancing to the US Open final on Saturday where she will face her teenage compatriot Leylah Fernandez.

The 18-year-old Kent qualifier beat Greece’s 17th seed Maria Sakkari 6-1 6-4 to stage the first teenage US Open final since 1999, before either was born , when Serena, 17. Williams defeated 18-year-old Martina Hingis.

Raducanu had only just reached her A level when she reached Wimbledon’s fourth round in July, but she surpassed all expectations to advance to the final at Flushing Meadows without losing a set – winning 18 straight matches and failing losing only 27 games in his six main draws. matches.

She said on court: “Honestly, the time here in New York has gone by so fast. I just took care of every day and three weeks later I’m in the final. I can’t believe it.

“Today I was thinking of no one else but myself. While I have the moment, I want to thank my team and the LTA and everyone at home for all their support.

“Since being here since the first round of qualifying I have had incredible support.”

As for his chances in the final? “Are there any expectations? I am qualified, so technically there is no pressure on me,” she added.

Although he caused a massive upheaval to take out reigning Olympic champion Belinda Bencic in the final round, facing the experienced Sakkari is expected to be his toughest test yet under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium on TV in the hours of prime time in the United States.

The burgeoning star, who will be installed as Britain’s No.1 next week, took advantage of a nervous start from Sakkari to make it through the first three games, one of the heaviest hitters on the WTA Tour having won any of his seven games. chances of scoring a breaking point.

The opening set turned into a nightmare for Sakkari when she double faulted to put Raducanu in charge, with the possibility of a bagel set. But the Greek, who was one point away from reaching her first slam final at Roland Garros before losing it to eventual champion Barbora Krejcikova, held the serve in Game 6 to enter the table.

However, Raducanu quickly wrapped it up to make it an astonishing 17th straight set won in New York City and move closer to a place in history.

With an error-strewn Sakkari smelling the heat, Raducanu took full advantage by taking a break in Game 3 of the second set with flawless shots.

Sakkari saved five break points in a nine-minute marathon in Game 7, but Raducanu remained calm on serve to move closer to victory.

And she held the serve for a remarkable 47th time in her sensational run from qualifying to Saturday’s final and unlikely march to sporting immortality.

She is one game away from becoming the first British woman to win at Flushing Meadows since Wade in 1968.

Raducanu will advance to 32nd place in the world after reaching the final and may climb to 24th place if she wins the title. The 18-year-old entered the tournament in 150th place.

On Monday, she will take over as the British No.1.

Fabulous Fernandez in the final

Leylah Fernandez surprised second seed Aryna Sabalenka to reach the final - just days after her 19th birthday

Leylah Fernandez surprised second seed Aryna Sabalenka to reach the final – just days after her 19th birthday

Teenager Fernandez advanced to Saturday’s final after a spectacular three-set victory over Aryna Sabalenka.

Fernandez, who turned 19 on Monday, sealed a stunning 7-6 (3) 4-6 6-4 win over world number 2 to follow in the footsteps of fellow Canadian and 2019 winner Bianca Andreescu in qualifying for the women’s singles final in adolescence.

Fernandez, ranked 73rd in the world, devastated a who’s who of women’s tennis this fortnight.

The southpaw has now defeated two-time US Open champion Naomi Osaka, 2016 winner Angelique Kerber, world No.5 Elina Svitolina, and she has added second seed Sabalenka to her scalps to qualify for her first Grand Slam final.

She said on court: “I have no idea how I won. I want to thank the New York audience, they helped me out today and never gave up. Thanks to them, I was able to win.

“I just wanted to be in the final and I fought for every point. I don’t know how I got that last point but I’m glad I did.”

Don’t forget to follow us on skysports.com/tennis, our Twitter account @skysportstennis & Sky Sports – on the go! Available for download now on – iPhone & iPad and Android

Add a Comment