NEW YORK, USA – The future is great, as teenagers Leylah Fernandez and Emma Raducanu go head-to-head after stunning runs to the final.
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Leylah Fernandez v Emma Raducanu [Q]
For one teenager, their lives are going to change forever in the eighth Grand Slam final in the Open Era between teenagers and first since the 1999 US Open (Serena Williams d. Martina Hingis).
Leylah Fernandez has ripped through tough opposition including defending champion Naomi Osaka. Emma Raducanu has yet to drop a set, having come through qualifying to become the first British woman to appear in a Grand Slam final since Virginia Wade.
While this is their first meeting at a senior level on the tour, Raducanu and Fernandez have known each other since juniors and faced each other in the Girls’ tournament at Wimbledon, with the honours going to the Brit.
People joked about this as an all-teenage final as Fernandez laid waste to Osaka, and Raducanu kept steam-rolling her way past her opponents. You could argue that Fernandez had the harder path to the final, beating a defending champion, and a former champion in Angelique Kerber. But Raducanu has come through qualifying and played three matches more. And somewhat unbelievably has spent less time on court than Fernandez.
Both players are very athletic and can cover the court extremely well. We saw that when Raducanu geared up to beat Sara Sorribes Tormo. Both take the ball early and can send it back anywhere they want, with bells on.
They both serve well, they have both protected their second serves well and they both can finish points off at the net. Fans have been pouring in from Canada for the lovely Fernandez. But Raducanu’s disarming style has also won the US crowds over.
Fatigue will be a factor, along with nerves on Saturday. Since the start of the week, we felt that Raducanu’s chances against more experienced players would finally see her run stop. Even through Fernandez has a little more experience on the tour, the stats are in Raducanu’s favour, just slightly. But… why on earth not?
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