Britain’s Emma Raducanu became the first qualifier ever to make a Grand Slam final, sweeping into Saturday’s US Open final where she will play fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez.
Raducanu defeated Greek 17th seed Maria Sakkari 6-1 6-4 to set up the first all-teen final at the US Open since 1999, before either was born when a 17-year-old Serena Williams beat an 18-year-old Martina Hingis.
19-year-old Fernandez made it through to Saturday’s final after a dramatic three-set victory over Aryna Sabalenka. The Canadian sealed a stunning 7-6 (3) 4-6 6-4 victory against the world No 2 to follow in the footsteps of Bianca Andreescu by reaching the women’s singles final as a teenager.
Raducanu has exceeded all expectations by storming into the final at Flushing Meadows without dropping a set – winning 18 consecutively and dropping just 27 games in her six main draw matches.
She said on the court: “Honestly, the time here in New York has gone so fast. I’ve just been taking care of each day and three weeks later I’m in the final. I can’t actually believe it.
Today I wasn’t thinking about anyone else except for myself. While I have the moment, I want to thank my team and the LTA and everyone at home for all their support. Since I’ve been here from the first round of the quallies, I’ve had unbelievable support.”
As for her chances in the final? “Is there any expectation? I’m a qualifier so technically there’s no pressure on me,” she added.