Incredible women’s final at the US Open!
The teenagers have taken over the reins. The British Emma Raducanu (18) meets Leylah Fernandez (19) from Canada on Saturday. The first teen final since 1999, when Serena Williams (39) also beat Martina Hingis (40) in New York.
Raducanu is the first female qualifier to reach a Grand Slam final in history. This was not the case with men either. In the semifinals she prevailed against Maria Sakkari (26 / Greece) 6: 1, 6: 4.
“I can not believe it! A shock, crazy. It means a lot to me to be in this situation now. I am speechless: a Grand Slam final at this age. It’s totally crazy, ”says Raducanu. Years ago she watched at Wimbledon and played for the first time in July. “That was incredible.”
Fernandez previously beat world number two Aryna Sabalenka (23 / Belarus) 7: 6, 4: 6, 6: 4. She had previously cleaned the defending champion Naomi Osaka (23 / Japan) and Angelique Kerber (33).
So now the teenagers are playing against each other. Actually, the American Coco Gauf (17) was the first of the new generation to be trusted to play a Grand Slam final. She already had her breakthrough at Wimbledon when she reached the round of 16 in 2019. “When you’re young, you can play freely. I only think about the schedule and not about who expects what from me, ”said Raducanu.
Who are the finalists?
Raducanu was born in Canada, father Romanian, mother Chinese. When she was two, her parents moved to Great Britain with her. She grew up there, is British, but also has a Canadian passport.
Sporty: right-handed woman, very good cut serve, takes the balls late and does not hit them hard, but very precisely. Still without a tournament win. So the first would be a Grand Slam success. Is under contract with supplier Nike.
Fernandez was also born in Canada. Father Ecuadorian, mother Filipino with Canadian citizenship, therefore the daughter starts for Canada. Sporty: left-handed. Power woman who takes the balls early and has incredible power in the strokes. Won her first tournament in March in Monterrey, Mexico. She is with supplier Asics.
Fernandez confidently: “Nothing is impossible. There is no limit to what I can do. My father always told me that my potential was limitless. So many have doubted I would be a pro, and now here I am. I did that quite well, I think. “
Her biggest motivation: “A teacher told me to stop playing tennis. ‘You will never make it! Focus on school. ‘ I can laugh about it today, not then. I’m glad she told me that because I keep this sentence in my head every day. I want to prove to her that I will achieve everything I have dreamed of. “
Raducanu and Fernandez played against each other at the age of eleven, later in the junior competition at Wimbledon. “We both play good tennis, it will be a great match,” says Raducanu succinctly. “But we have no contact, we only see each other at tournaments and say hello.”
Both make huge leaps in the world rankings. Raducanu from number 150 to 23rd, Fernandez from 73rd to 19th – ahead of Gauff. In Wimbledon, Raducanu had to give up in the round of 16 due to breathing difficulties, in New York she is fully there. Fee: 2.1 million euros for the winner, the loser still collects a million.
Thus, the field of women who can win Grand Slams is growing. Because with Gauff (17), Marta Kostyuk (19 / Ukraine) and Clara Tauson (18 / Denmark) there are other teenagers who have what it takes.
The German offspring can only dream of it. The best teen player is in 301st place Nastasja Schunk (18). The hope: Angelique Kerber also had her breakthrough only at 23: semifinals at the US Open 2011.