British teenager Emma Raducanu made history on Friday as she became the first qualifier to reach a Grand Slam final thanks to her 6-1 6-4 victory over Maria Sakkari in New York.
The 18-year-old will play Leylah Fernandez (Raducanu 8/13, Fernandez 5/4 – Match Betting) on Saturday after cruising into her maiden Grand Slam final. Raducanu made light work of Sakkari as she raced into a 3-0 lead on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Sakkari showed her frustration on occasions, while Raducanu remained relaxed throughout the contest, and she took the first set inside 36 minutes. Raducanu smashed home a volley to seal the victory in the second set as she became the first British woman to reach a major singles final in 44 years.
The Brit had to come through three qualifying matches to reach the main draw, but she says she feels no extra pressure despite her meteoric rise through the women’s game.
She told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I never thought it would come this early to be in a Grand Slam final.
“I’m really enjoying my time in New York, and that’s showing in my tennis. Tonight, being under the lights on Arthur Ashe Stadium, it’s so iconic, and I think I was just thriving in the moment.”
Raducanu is set to climb from 150th in the world to 32 in the rankings next week, but she still has a job to do. Fernandez shocked second seed Aryna Sabalenka to reach her first Grand Slam Final, with the Canadian teenager winning 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4.
Fernandez and Raducanu set up the eighth Grand Slam final in the Open Era between teenagers, but it is the first since the 1999 US Open when Serena Williams beat Martina Hingis.
The winner will face either Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev, who meet on Saturday (Djokovic 4/11, Zverev 2/1 – Match Betting).