Emma Raducanu becomes first British woman to reach a Grand Slam final in 44 years
Raducanu is also the first qualifier ever to reach the final of a major
British teenager Emma Raducanu has reached the final of the US Open, adding another chapter in her stratospheric rise to stardom.
The 18-year-old, who made her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon this year where she reached the last 16, stunned Greek 17th seed Maria Sakkari over night in straight sets, winning 6-1 6-4.
The win means that Raducanu has not only reached the final at Flushing Meadows on her first appearance at the tournament but has also done it without dropping a single set, putting together performance after performance, each more scarcely believable than the last.
Pure happiness under the lights in New York 🌃🗽❤️ pic.twitter.com/j5721WEEaL
— Emma Raducanu (@EmmaRaducanu) September 10, 2021
And in a brilliant twist of fate, she will face fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in the final on Saturday who has been causing shocks of her own in New York and beat second seed Arya Sabalenka in her semi.
It will be the first time since the 1999 US Open that a Grand Slam final will be contested between two teenagers and only the eighth time in the Open Era.
Raducanu is now the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam final since Virginia Wade reached the Wimbledon final in 1977, and she has captured the hearts of not just the British public, but the watching American fans as well.
After she secured the win, Raducanu dropped her racquet and put her hands to her mouth in shock. No one is enjoying this story more than her.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 10, 2021
After the win, Raducanu said: "The time in New York has gone so quickly, I've been taking care of each day and three weeks later I'm in the final. I actually can't believe it."
Her feat gets more impressive with every stat as well. The teen had to come through three qualifying rounds just to get to the US Open and has not dropped a set in any of her nine matches.
It is not only just her second Grand Slam but only her fourth-tour level event.
She is also:
- the youngest British Grand Slam finalist in 62 years, since Christine Truman reached the French Open final aged 18 in 1959
- the first British woman to reach a US Open final in 53 years, following Wade in 1968
- only the fourth British woman to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open era
Three months ago, only Raducanu's friends, family and coaches will have known her name. Before she competed at Wimbledon, she was ranked 336th in the world. Now, after her brilliant run at SW19 and her record-breaking triumphs in the US, she is set to break into the world's top 30 and become the British tennis number one.
Crucially though, at 9pm on Saturday, she will have the opportunity to claim one of the most prestigious titles in tennis.
After she withdrew from her last 16 match at Wimbledon with breathing difficulties, some wondered whether Raducanu had struggled to cope with the occasion. But over the last fortnight, Raducanu has proven that dealing with pressure matches on the biggest of stages is not an issue in the slightest for her.
British sport has a new star.