US Open: The 18-year-old British girl and her 19-year-old Canadian opponent will take to the court at 9 p.m. on Saturday in New York; both are first-time major finals who have played amazing tennis to reach this Grand Slam semifinal.
On Saturday night, Britain’s Emma Raducanu will compete in the 2021 US Open Final against compatriot youngster Leylah Fernandez in a bid to become the first qualifier to win a major.
Raducanu, who had planned to fly home after qualifying, has astonished the field at this year’s US Open, where she has yet to drop a set en route to her maiden major final.
She gave up five games against Mariam Bolkvadze in the second round of qualifying, which is the most she has given up in a single set at Flushing Meadows.
The 18-year-old is the first qualifier to reach a major final in the sport’s history. Wildcards have won majors before, but no qualifier has ever advanced this far in the men’s or women’s game.
In just her second Grand Slam, @EmmaRaducanu has become:
First qualifier ever to reach a GS final ✅
Youngest British GS finalist for 62 years ✅
First British woman to reach a GS final in 44 years ✅
First British woman to reach a @usopen final in 52 years ✅
History made. pic.twitter.com/0QEOUF1BYp
— LTA (@the_LTA) September 10, 2021
The British adolescent has not only made history in the sport she adores, but she has done so in style as well. Raducanu has “a certain star quality and game,” according to tennis pundit and expert Barry Cowan.
“This is not someone who is having a fantasy for two weeks and is a one-hit wonder,” Cowan explains.
“Anyone who follows tennis understands that this is a true professional who possesses all of the necessary attributes.
“She’s so composed even when she’s giving interviews after matches, whether on the court or during press conferences. It’s not normal to be able to achieve that at the age of 18!!”
“Being in this scenario means a lot to me. I knew I wanted to play Grand Slams, but I didn’t know when it would happen “, Raducanu remarked after defeating world No. 18 Maria Sakkari in the semi-finals.
“I wasn’t sure what my level would be like here at the US Open. In some ways, my tennis level has shocked me, as I’ve been able to compete against some of the world’s finest players.
“I believe that deep down, I knew I had a level that was comparable to these girls, but I didn’t know if I could sustain it for a set or two.” I honestly can’t believe I was able to achieve it and beat some of the finest players in the world.
“It’s been incredibly difficult because they usually fight,” she continued, “and they have so much experience that they use.”
“I’m just so, so thrilled to have gone through all of my matches with flying colours.”
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