Emma Raducanu makes history as she qualifies for US Open Final
The British teenage sensation becomes the first British woman to contest a Grand Slam final since 1977
Emma Raducanu Made history on Thursday night becoming not only the first qualifier - man or woman - to reach a grand slam final in the Open era of tennis, but the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam final, since Virginia Wade's historic victory at Wimbledon in 1977.
A Teenage Sensation
At the tender age of 18 one might expect that such a moment would overwhelm the Brit, yet it was the complete opposite as she showed composure beyond her years on her way to defeating The Greek 17th seed Maria Sakkari. Once again taking center stage only this time at the Billie Jean King stadium, Raducanu put in a brilliant performance to secure her spot in the final.
In her Greek opponent Raducanu was facing one of the biggest servers in the game today. Sakkari herself would have undoubtedly had in mind her stumble at the semi final stage of Roland Garros earlier this year. The Greek made it clear from the start as she displayed her well known athleticism forcing Raducanu to face seven break points across the first two games. Yet the British star held her nerve and managed to break to take a 3-0 lead in the first set. As Raducanu grew in confidence she began to showcase her varied arsenal as she moved around the court, seamlessly switching from defense to offense. It was at this point that Sakkari began to falter, committing error after error. Before long she was 5-0 down. A consolation game didn't stop Raducanu from tidily closing out the set.
Nerve held and history made
In the second set the Greek made it clear that she was not going down without a fight, holding her first set with ease. Raducanu, however, had other plans. While the Greek had enjoyed dominance with her serve in the previous round against Karolina Pliskova, she found significantly less joy against the Brit. Raducanu began to take apart her serve with problematic returns to her feet, eventually breaking. The teenager then held and found herself 3-1 up only to commit a pair errors resulting Sakkari holding. Tension began to mount. Sakkari would make one final push, taking the set to 5-4, Raducanu would have none of it serving out her game to to book her place in the final.
"Honestly the time here in New York has gone so fast." She said on court. "I've just been taking care of each day and, before you know it, I'm in the final and I can't believe it."
So who is next?
Awaiting the Brit in the final is another teenager who has turned heads this year. Canadian, Annie Fernandez dismissed the second seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-4 on her way to the final. The last time the two met was at Junior Wimbledon in 2018 meaning, one way or another, history will be made in the finals. They will be the first two teenagers to contest a Grand Slam final since Serena Williams and Martina Hingis faced off at the US Open in 1999.