Flushing Meadows, United States, Sep 9 (EFE).- Britain’s unseeded Emma Raducanu, 18, beat Greece’s Maria Sakkari 6-1, 6-4 Thursday and made it to her first US Open and Grand Slam final.
Her rival in the final will also be another teenager, 19-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez, who won 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4 against second-seed Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.
Raducanu, who has not lost a set since she began her participation in the preliminary rounds, became the first open finalist to reach the grand final as qualifier.
She also became the youngest tennis player to contest a Grand Slam final since Russia’s Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 at 17.
The one-hour 23-minute match left Raducanu with 16 winners and 17 unforced errors, as well as having four aces and two double faults.
Seventeenth-seed Sakkari did not play her best tennis from the back of the court and made 33 unforced errors for 17 winners, which cost her the match, especially in the first set when she allowed Raducanu to win five games in a row.
Sakkari made 17 unforced errors in the first set, with Raducanu limiting himself to returning everything from the back of the court and waiting for the Greek tennis player’s failure.
Canada’s unseeded Fernandez completed her triumphant march to her first US Open and Grand Slam final, winning 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4 against No. 2-seeded Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.
The game, which lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes, left Fernandez in complete control after 26 winners and 23 unforced errors, in addition to having her best serving game of the tournament with six aces and two double faults.
Sabalenka, 23, was also looking for her first US Open and Grand Slam final but was her own worst enemy, with 52 unforced errors and 45 winners. She served 10 aces, but also committed eight double faults.
Having beaten Sabalenka, Fernandez becomes the first unseeded player in US Open and Grand Slam history to eliminate the second and third seeds, after beating defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round.
She also eliminated fifth-seed Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals and Germany’s Angelique Kerber, 16th seed and 2016 US Open champion, in the second round. EFE