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Emma Raducanu vs Maria Sakkari LIVE result: British teen storms through to US Open final

Follow all the reaction from New York as British 18-year-old Emma Raducanu becomes the first qualifier to reach a Grand Slam singles final

Jamie Braidwood
Friday 10 September 2021 11:06
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Emma Raducanu Eases Into Us Open Quarter-finals

Emma Raducanu continued her historic run at the US Open as she defeated Maria Sakkari to set up a sensational all-teenage final against Leylah Fernandez in New York.

Raducanu sealed an emphatic 6-1, 6-4 victory over 17th seed Sakkari to become the first British woman since Virginia Wade in 1977 to reach a Grand Slam singles final, on what has been a dream debut at Flushing Meadows.

In doing so, the 18-year-old becomes the first qualifier to reach a Grand Slam final and is the youngest US Open finalist in more than 20 years, after 19-year-old Fernandez had briefly held that record following her three-sets win over second seed Aryna Sabalenka.

Raducanu withstood early pressure from Sakkari as she saved seven break points in her opening two service games, but was clinical as she broke her opponent early to establish a 3-0 lead in the opening set. A further break of serve underlined Raducanu’s perfect start as the teenager quickly established control before going on to claim the first set 6-1.

The teenager dominated the second set and did not face a single break point on her serve and while Sakkari responded to the challenge by saving a number of break point opportunities herself, Raducanu’s early break in the second set was enough as she kept her nerve to serve out a remarkable victory.

Saturday’s final against Canadian Fernandez will also be the first in Grand Slam history to feature two unseeded players, and the first meeting of two teenagers since 1999. “Is there any expectation?” Raducanu laughed when asked during her on-court interview about the possibility of winning the US Open. “I’m a qualifier, technically there’s no pressure on me.”

Follow all the reaction from the US Open semi-finals below.

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Record-breaking Emma Raducanu sets up fitting US Open finale

If you were to write down a list of the records Emma Raducanu has set in advancing to the US Open final, there’s a chance it would reach as many points as the 18-year-old has in dropped games in New York.

So, for brevity, the key one is this: Raducanu has made tennis history by becoming the first qualifier, male or female, to reach a Grand Slam final, sealed with an emphatic 6-1, 6-4 win over Maria Sakkari.

“A surprise. A shock. Crazy. All of the above.” No wonder the British star didn’t know what to say when asked to describe what the achievement meant to her. When Raducanu arrived in New York three weeks ago ahead of her first round of qualifying, there was no precedent for a run of this magnitude.

As such, Raducanu had booked her return flights to the UK for the end of the qualifying rounds.

“Honestly, the time in New York has gone so fast,” she said. “I’ve just been taking care of each day and before you know it, three weeks later, I’m in the final. I can’t believe it.”

Record-breaking Emma Raducanu sets up fitting US Open finale

The 18-year-old Brit has become the first-ever qualifier - male or female - to reach the final of a Grand Slam after yet more heroics in New York

Ben Burrows10 September 2021 11:06
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Emma Raducanu through to US Open final

Emma Raducanu on pressure: “I think that being young there is an element of playing free. But I do think that when I’m older and more experience the tables will turn when younger players come through - but right now I’m thinking of the gameplan, the execution and that’s what has landed me in this situation. It hasn’t been focusing on who’s expected to win this match or that one. I think it’s just taking care of the day. That’s what I’m doing quite well at the moment.”

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 10:36
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Emma Raducanu through to US Open final

Fair play to Marcus Rashford, who was one of those to lead the support of Emma Raducanu after she was forced to retire from her fourth-round match at Wimbledon earlier this summer due to breathing difficulties.

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 10:01
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Emma Raducanu through to US Open final

Maria Sakkari on facing Emma Raducanu: “She plays fearless, she absolutely goes for it. She does the right thing, actually. She has nothing to lose, she’s enjoying herself. Belinda [Bencic] would agree with me that we did not bring our best performance [against Raducanu]. I’m sad, I’m broken to have missed out on my first final. But I’m confident that it will come.”

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 09:28
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Emma Raducanu through to US Open final

Emma Raducanu on coming through moments of adversity at the US Open: “I knew I had some sort of level inside of me that was similar to these girls, but I didn’t know if I was able to maintain it over a set or over two sets. To be able to do it and play the best players in the world and beat them, I honestly can’t believe it.

“It’s been extremely difficult because they always fight, they have so much experience which they use. I’m just so, so proud to have come through very tough moments in all of my matches.”

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 09:18
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Emma Raducanu through to US Open final

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Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 09:08
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Emma Raducanu through to US Open final

Emma Raducanu on her early meetings with upcoming US Open final opponent Leylah Fernandez: “Obviously since then we’ve both come very far in our games and as people. I’m sure it’s going to be extremely different to when we last encountered each other. But we’re both playing good tennis so it will be a good match.

“Honestly right now I’m just thinking of the game plan, how to execute. That’s what’s landed me in this situation. It hasn’t been focusing on who’s expected to win this match or that one. I think it’s just taking care of the day. That’s what I’m doing quite well at the moment.”

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 08:49
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Emma Raducanu through to US Open final

Emma Raducanu on beating Maria Sakkari: “Today was always going to be a very difficult match, She’s an unbelievable player, probably one of the best athletes out there on tour. I knew before the match I was going to have to play some of my best tennis if I wanted a chance.

“Honestly I think I played some of my best tennis today, especially here in New York. I knew I was going to have to be super aggressive. I managed to execute. So, I’m just really happy with today’s performance.”

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 08:24
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Emma Raducanu through to US Open final

When asked to describe how it felt to become the first qualifier to reach a final in Grand Slam history, Emma Raducanu couldn’t settle on just one word, so she used a few.

“A surprise. Honestly, I just can’t believe it. A shock. Crazy. All of the above,” she said.

“I always had dreams of playing in Grand Slams, but I just didn’t know when they would come. To come this early, at this point in my career—I’ve only really been on tour for a month, two months since Wimbledon—it’s pretty crazy to me.”

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 08:05
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Emma Raducanu through to US Open final

“Honestly, the time in New York has gone so fast. I’ve just been taking care of each day and before you know it, three weeks later, I’m in the final. I can’t believe it.”

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 07:50

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