Friday, December 3, 2021

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US Open: Teenagers Raducanu and Fernandez set up historic women final

British teenager Emma Raducanu reached the US Open final with a stunning straight-set win over Greek 17th seed Maria Sakkari in New York.

Raducanu, 18, extended her dream run with a 6-1 6-4 victory with otherworldly dominance.

She is the first qualifier to reach a Grand Slam final and will play another teenager Leylah Fernandez on Saturday.

Canada’s Fernandez had sealed her place in the final by shocking Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka.

Unseeded Fernandez, who turned 19 on Monday, won 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4 to edge a tense semi-final.

Raducanu is the first British woman in a major singles final in 44 years, and she was watched on by Virginia Wade – the last woman to achieve that feat at Wimbledon in 1977.

“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,” Raducanu said.

It is the first since the 1999 US Open when American hope Serena Williams beat Switzerland’s Martina Hingis.

The success of Raducanu and Fernandez caps a tournament where a host of young stars have filled the void of several big names – In particular Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – with superb performances.

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