Emma Raducanu, the teenager from Great Britain, becomes the first qualifier in tennis history to reach a Grand Slam final. She accomplished this astonishing achievement by defeating Maria Sakkari at the U.S Open semi-final to guarantee herself a $1.25 million payday when she faces Laylah Fernandez on Saturday in the U.S Open final.
The 18-year-old from Kent is now the first qualifier in history to reach a Grand Slam final after she produced an extraordinary performance to defeat 17th seed Maria Sakkari in straight sets 6-1, 6-2 in only 84 minutes. In the final chapter of this incredible story, Raducanu will need to endure an all-teenage championship match when she meets 19-year old Laylah Fernandez from Canada in the final on Saturday. This is the first time in 22 years that the final in a Major will be decided by two teenagers.
When Raducanu played in Wimbledon, she was ranked 338th in the world. Fast-forward to the U.S Open, and she now has $1.25 million in her pocket after winning 9 matches. What’s even more impressive is the fact that she hasn’t dropped a set as of yet.
Emma Raducanu’s Incredible Run
Raducanu is the first female from Great Britain to reach the final at the U.S Open since Virginia Wade accomplished this feat in 1968. She is also the youngest finalist in a Grand Slam since Maria Sharapova reached the final in 2004 at Wimbledon. Virginia Wade was watching the action in Arthur Ashe Stadium along with Monica Seles. Emma Raducanu’s record during her first two Majors has now surpassed both Jennifer Capriati and Monica Seles’ records.
Maria Sakkari is one of the most muscular tennis athletes in the world who has had an incredible season in 2021. She reached the semi-finals of the French Open before participating in the U.S Open. However, her game was demolished by the incredible returns of serve from Raducanu and the relentless pressure that was applied to her weaker forehand side. In all honesty, the final score was actually generous towards the more experienced opponent, and it could have been over much quicker.
Emma Raducanu informed BettingPro reporters that her time at the U.S Open has gone extremely fast and she simply focused on each day. She can’t believe that it’s already been three weeks and that she’s in the final of a Grand Slam. She wasn’t thinking about anyone else but herself and has enjoyed playing under the lights at the prestigious Arthur Ashe Stadium. She will now face the talented left-hander from Quebec who managed to take down 2nd seeded Aryna Sabalenka 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the final of the U.S Open Grand Slam.