There was a buzz in the Key Biscayne locker room when British tennis player Emma Raducanu, 18, stepped out on court at the U.S. Open to play 20-year-old American Leylah Fernandez in the semifinals. Raducanu’s fast-pace play was all the rage throughout the tournament, and she ended up beating Fernandez, winning 6-4, 6-4. In the end, Raducanu was able to topple Fernandez, moving into her first major final.
“No one expected me to get this far,” Raducanu said after the match. “I’m really enjoying my tennis, and I’m really enjoying playing Leylah. So it’s cool that I was able to progress today and be able to play in the final.”
Raducanu was up and down throughout the match, winning five straight games to lead 4-2 and going on to win the set 6-4, holding Fernandez to serve. Fernandez was able to keep pace and put a lot of pressure on Raducanu, but Raducanu was able to shut her down in the end, sealing the victory.
Raducanu, who defeated American Francesca Schiavone, 15, in a quarterfinal match, looked poised in the beginning of the match, taking control of the scoring with some good serving and striking some good shots. But Fernandez began to climb her way back into the match with some strong second serve returns and solid hitting, and it was the American who went on to take the lead in the third set. Raducanu however, was able to respond with some tough shots and hold on for the victory.
Raducanu has already made history, becoming the first teenager to qualify for the second week of the US Open since Lisa Raymond in 2003. Now the British player has the opportunity to take her act to the biggest stage.
She faces Russian 15-year-old Daria Kasatkina in the finals on Tuesday.
Read the full story at the Guardian.
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