US Open Second Service: Emma Raducanu makes history; Leylah Fernandez stunned
On Second Service today, Emma Raducanu makes history to reach the US Open final, whilst her upcoming opponent Leylah Fernandez couldn’t believe she came through her semi-final.
Firstly, British teen sensation Emma Raducanu became the first ever qualifier to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open Era after yet another convincing victory against Maria Sakkari.
The 18-year-old, who is playing her second ever Grand Slam after making her WTA debut in June, is the youngest British finalist in 62 years and the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam final in 44 years.
“Honestly today I wasn’t thinking about anyone else except for myself,” Emma Raducanu said on court afterwards.
When asked if she would back herself to deal with the expectation in the final, she added: “Is there any expectation? I’m a qualifier, technically there’s no pressure on me.”
Leylah Fernandez somehow prevailed against second seed Aryna Sabalenka in the other semi-final to set up the first all-teen US Open final since 17-year-old Serena Williams beat 18-year-old Martina Hingis in 1999.
The Canadian has arguably had the toughest possible route to the final, beating defending champion Naomi Osaka and Elena Svitolina before defeating the Belarusian Sabalenka.
Asked on court how she won the match, Leylah Fernandez said: “I have no idea. I would say it’s thanks to the New York crowd. They never gave up, they fought for me.”
In other news, Novak Djokovic is just two victories away from becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete the Calendar Slam.
However, Djokovic has had enough of being questioned about the feat, expressing as much following his quarter-final win over Matteo Berrettini.
“I’m only focusing on the next match,” Djokovic cut off Patrick McEnroe during his on-court post-match interview.
“Do not ask me anything about history, I don’t wanna think about it. I know it’s there. I’m just focusing on the next match and let’s go step by step.”
Lastly, world number 24 Reilly Opelka has hit out at the tennis media and commentators who said Alcaraz showed weakness by retiring from his quarter-final clash with Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Opelka defended the star for his actions, particularly responding to a tweet that labelled the match a ‘sudden surrender’ that was ‘very disappointing’ and ‘hope[fully] not a pattern for the 18-year-old’.
“The only thing that is a pattern here is the tennis media being absolute joke,” Opelka said in his Twitter address.
“Carlos [Alcaraz] is the youngest male player to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final in over 30 years. Yet somehow you manage to come up with this?”
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