Emma Raducanu will seek to become the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title in 44 years when she takes on fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in an unlikely US Open final between two players who have lit up New York. —Sonia Oxley, BBC Sport: Britain’s Raducanu — unseeded and unheralded
By Roger Childs
There will be a new women’s grand slam champion tomorrow and it will be either an eighteen year old or a nineteen year old. It will be first teenage final since 1999 and the only time in grand slam history that two unseeded players have contested a final. (The top 32 world ranked players in a major tournament are always seeded.)
This match-up makes history in many ways as Britain’s Emma Raducanu is the first qualifier in history to reach a grand slam final. To get in the draw she had to play three matches in a pre – tournament series. She won these in two straight sets and then contested all the following six rounds to make the final also without dropping a set! Amazing! Her world ranking is 150. If she wins the final she will be the first British woman to win a major for 44 years.
The fairy tale tournament for Canada’s Leylah Fernandez
Fernandez has just turned 19 and currently has a world ranking of 77. On the way to the final she beat four seeded players:
Number 3: Japan’s Naomi Osaka
Number 16: German Angelique Kerber
Number 5: Elina Svitolina from the Ukraine
Number 2: Aryna Sabalenka from Belorussia
The Canadian’s last four matches have gone to three sets and her victories are a tribute to her superb all-round game and her amazing maturity. She never allowed herself to get rattled and had a strong hold over her emotions.
It was interesting that in the semi-final, it was her much more experienced opponent, number two seed Aryna Sabalenka, who lost her cool and at one point destroyed a racket during a break in games. The Belorussian also had more than twice as many unforced errors.
Too close to call
Both players have shown a maturity beyond their years and demonstrated all-round skills and reached a level of quality tennis that no-one predicted. They both serve well, have fast ground strokes, possess the ability to run their opponents from side to side, and to also produce superb placements and delicate drop shots.
The final should be a cracker and although no-one has even come close to beating Raducanu in earlier rounds, Fernandez has had to play tougher competition and prevailed. Both are knew to finals tennis and showing consistency, maturity and nerve will be crucial. It will be an intriguing battle between two teenagers who throughout the tournament have thrilled the crowds with the quality of their tennis and shown maturity beyond their years. There is definitely no favourite.