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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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Emma Raducanu vs Maria Sakkari

Fernandez 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka simply could not hold her serve in that final game, and her second serve routinely let her down throughout the match.

But what a story. Leylah Fernandez continues her incredible run in New York and becomes the youngest US Open finalist since Serena Williams more than 20 years ago.

“I have no idea,” she says when asked how she won that match.

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 02:41
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Emma Raducanu vs Maria Sakkari

Fernandez 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 Sabalenka

That’s a nervy start from Sabalenka. She hits a backhand into the net before a second serve misses by a huge distance to set up 0-30.

Oh my word. Another double fault from Sabalenka brings up three match points from Fernandez, before a forehand from Sabalenka goes long!

Unbelievable. Leylah Fernandez is into the US Open final!

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 02:38
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Emma Raducanu vs Maria Sakkari

Fernandez 7-6, 4-6, 5-4 Sabalenka*

Fernandez opens her next service game with two clean winners, the second a forehand volley into the open court which just clipped the back of the baseline.

An ace from Fernandez brings up game point but that is then followed up by a double fault.

Sabalenka then hits a wild forehand wide on a second serve from Fernandez to earn the 19-year-old a crucial hold. Bit of a gift that from Sabalenka, who must now hold serve to stay in the match.

This is unbelievably tense. This extraordinary US Open continues to deliver.

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 02:34
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Emma Raducanu vs Maria Sakkari

*Fernandez 7-6, 4-6, 4-4 Sabalenka

Two big serves from Sabalenka builds a 30-0 lead in her next service game. But Fernandez hits back with two stunning winners to move to 30-30, this first on a Sabalenka second-serve and the second a forehand down the line which clipped the paint.

A crosscourt winner from Sabalenka is followed up by a forehand miss from Fernandez. Big hold from Sabalenka to level the scores.

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 02:30
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Emma Raducanu vs Maria Sakkari

Fernandez 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Sabalenka*

Goodness. Sabalenka quickly wins the next three points to set up three break-back points on the Fernandez serve.

The 19-year-old pumps her fist before she saves the first with a deft drop shot. Sabalenka then sends a wild backhand wide before showing her frustration, and then puts another loose forehand into the net on a second-serve from Fernandez! What was she doing?!

Sabalenka responds in style, however, with a big backhand winner from the baseline on the next point to set up another break-back chance.

And this time she takes it. Again she goes on the attack but this time her return is much more controlled. She hits a stunning crosscourt winner on Fernandez’s second serve to put this deciding set back on serve.

What a match this is proving to be, with Emma Raducanu still to come!

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 02:27
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Emma Raducanu vs Maria Sakkari

*Fernandez 7-6, 4-6, 4-2 Sabalenka

Tense from Sabalenka. The 23-year-old was in a comfortable position at 40-15 but suddenly finds herself at deuce after a nervy double fault.

Brilliant defence from Fernandez on the next point sets up break point, as she extends the rally to force Sabalenka into the error.

Sabalenka saves the break point with a huge serve that Fernandez can’t return, but another break point quickly follows as a backhand drifts long.

A smart return from Fernandez then puts Sabalenka under further pressure, and another miss sees Fernandez make the break! She’s now just two games away from the US Open final!

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 02:21
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Emma Raducanu vs Maria Sakkari

Fernandez 7-6, 4-6, 3-2 Sabalenka*

That’s a very impressive hold to love from Fernandez to move into a 3-2 lead in the deciding set. She moved Sabalenka around the court with precision, although the Belarusian continues to look strong on her own serve.

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 02:16
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Emma Raducanu vs Maria Sakkari

Leylah Fernandez has now been taken to three sets in her last four matches at the US Open, but the 19-year-old has already beaten some of the best players in the world in reaching this stage when her matches go the distance.

Fernandez defeated Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber and Elina Svitolina in three sets to advance to the semi-finals, so there is plenty of game time already in her legs.

Sabalenka, meanwhile, has won her past four matches in straight sets and should be the fresher of the two players here.

Fernandez holds her serve in the opening game of the deciding set.

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 02:01
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Emma Raducanu vs Maria Sakkari

And into a deciding set we go! The destruction of her racket at 2-3 seems to have made a difference for Sabalenka as the world No 2 hits back to seal the second set 6-4.

A shot of Emma Raducanu shows the 18-year-old keeping warm on an exercise bike while practicing her volleys with her coach. That’s a new one!

With this semi-final now going into a decider, Raducanu’s semi-final has been pushed back and might not get underway now until around 3am UK time.

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 01:55
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Emma Raducanu vs Maria Sakkari

Now, that could be a big moment. Sabalenka has broken Fernandez’s serve at 4-4 and will now serve for the second set to take us into a decider...

Jamie Braidwood10 September 2021 01:51

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