Emma Raducanu through to the US Open final in straight sets

UK

Emma Raducanu is through to the final of the US Open after defeating Maria Sakkari of Greece in straight sets.

The British 18-year-old has now become the first qualifier in history to ever reach a grand slam final – and the youngest since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 when she was 17.

Thursday night’s stunning 6-1 6-4 win means just one match stands between Raducanu and one of the most extraordinary achievements in tennis history.

Raducanu won the first four games in a row Pic: AP
Image:
Raducanu won the first five games in a row Pic: AP

The teenager stormed past No 17 seed Sakkari in the first set in just 36 minutes. She won the first five games, helped by 17 unforced errors on Sakkari’s part.

It’s now going to be an all-teenager final in the US Open. Raducanu is set to face Canada’s Leylah Fernandez, who turned 19 this week.

In the run-up to the semi-final, Raducanu had said: “I have just been focusing one day at a time, taking care of each day.

“I didn’t expect to be here at all. I think my flights were booked at the end of qualifying, so it’s a nice problem to have.”

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Maria Sakkari had to chase the match from the start Pic: AP
Image:
Maria Sakkari had to chase the match from the start. Pic: AP

Raducanu was ranked outside of the top 350 in June, but now she is projected to rise to at least 51 in the world on Monday – and potentially even further after this latest win.

That will make her the British number one ahead of Johanna Konta and Heather Watson.

Jo Durie, the last British woman to reach the US Open semi-final back in 1983, is now predicting big things for Raducanu’s future.

She said: “[Emma has] got such a good solid game – she can hit the ball hard at the right time, and her serve stands up under pressure.

“She works very hard at her game and with all of that behind her, for me it points to her being consistently up there in the future.”

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