Despite the fact that they were barely known to anyone other than the most ardent tennis fans before this year’s U.S. Open, two teenage girls will compete for the singles title on Saturday in what has to be the most unlikely matchup for a Grand Slam final since modern tennis’s era began more than 50 years ago, according to some estimates.
Emma Raducanu of the United Kingdom and Leylah Fernandez of Canada pulled another rabbit out of their hats on Thursday night, a feat that would have been shocking if the two teenage sensations had not been pulling rabbits out of their hats for the better part of two weeks. The two teenage sensations once again defeated seasoned pros who exist in a different stratosphere in the world rankings.
Against Sakkari, Raducanu fended off seven break chances in her opening two service games and took advantage of a pair of double faults from the Finnish player to take a commanding 5-0 lead in the first set. British tennis royalty Tim Henman and Virginia Wade were in the audience to see the action.
Following a break in the second set, Sakkari saved five break chances in a nearly 10-minute seventh game, but Raducanu, who is 18 years old, was unfazed and went on to win the match and go to a final against another youngster Leylah Fernandez from Canada.
If Raducanu wins, she would become the youngest Grand Slam winner since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 at the age of 17 and become the youngest woman to win a Grand Slam.