US Open: 'Surprise, shock, crazy' - Raducanu in disbelief after reaching final in New York

By Sports Desk September 10, 2021

History-making British qualifier Emma Raducanu admits she cannot "actually believe" she has reached the US Open final at her first attempt.

The 18-year-old world number 150 stunned 17th seed Maria Sakkari 6-1 6-4 to book her spot in the US Open final, where she will meet fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez.

Raducanu is only appearing in her second grand slam, having made a run to the fourth round at Wimbledon in June.

The Briton has become the first qualifier in the Open era, male or female, to reach the final of a major tournament, while she is the youngest grand slam finalist since Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004.

On top of that, Raducanu is the first British woman to reach a grand slam final since Virginia Wade in 1977.

"The time here in New York has gone so fast," Raducanu said during her on-court interview.

"I've just been taking care of each day and before you know it, three weeks later, I'm in the final and I can't actually believe it."

She added during her post-match news conference: "[It is] a surprise. Honestly, I just can't believe it. A shock. Crazy. All of the above.

"It means a lot to be here in this situation. I wanted, obviously, to be playing grand slams, but I didn't know how soon that would be. To be in a grand slam final at this stage of my career… I have no words."

The Canada-born teenager will become only the fourth British woman in the Open era to appear in a grand slam final after Wade, Sue Barker and Ann Haydon-Jones.

Raducanu, who was full of praise for the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd, added that she was feeling no pressure or expectation.

"Is there any expectation? I'm a qualifier, so technically there's no pressure on me," she said.

Raducanu was glowing in her praise for former British men's number one and four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Tim Henman, who has been in her box during this tournament.

"Tim is honestly such a big inspiration. He's been helping me, telling me to treat it one point at a time," Raducanu added.

"In moments like this, you can't get ahead of yourself and you really have to stay present."

The US Open decider will be the first grand slam final between teenagers since the 1999 edition at Flushing Meadows when Serena Williams (17) defeated Martina Hingis (18).

Related items

  • Alcaraz moving freely after easing injury fears with French Open success Alcaraz moving freely after easing injury fears with French Open success

    Carlos Alcaraz put any concerns over an arm injury to one side after easing into the French Open second round on Sunday.

    The world number three cruised to a straight-sets victory over J.J. Wolf on Court Philippe-Chatrier, dropping just four games en route to a convincing triumph.

    Spain's Alcaraz had worries over featuring at Roland-Garros, where he was defeated in the semi-final last year, due to a troublesome arm injury.

    The 21-year-old played through his first-round victory with a supportive sleeve on his right arm, though that issue did not cause Alcaraz any problems on his emphatic return.

    "I would have loved to have played more matches," Alcaraz said after his dominant performance in Paris. 

    "I don't need too many matches to get to 100 per cent. I think I prepared well these past two weeks before coming to Paris.

    "I felt well moving. My forearm is getting better and better. That is something good for me.

    "I think I don't need too many matches to play my best."

    Alcaraz claimed a 12th win from his opening 15 matches at Roland-Garros. Since 2000, only two players have claimed more from that opening span of matches – Rafael Nadal (15) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (13).

    The powerful Alcaraz also boasts a record of 21-1 against players ranked outside the top 50 at major events, with his only such defeat inflicted by Mikael Ymer at the 2021 Australian Open.

    "I am really happy to be back here and back here in Paris," Alcaraz added. "To compete again has been a difficult month for me. I love competing and playing tennis. To stay away from that was hurting for me.

    "I tried everything I could do to be here at 100 per cent. I think I showed my best tennis today. I'm really, really happy to show my best tennis again.

    "I love playing here in Paris. The energy from the crowd here is something special. Seeing the full stadium in the first round is amazing. It's great for tennis to have a lot of people come into the tournament. I'm trying to make the people enjoy as well."

  • Alcaraz coasts into French Open second round after thrashing Wolf Alcaraz coasts into French Open second round after thrashing Wolf

    Carlos Alcaraz breezed into the French Open second round after easing to a straight-sets victory against J.J. Wolf on Sunday.

    The Spaniard reached the last four at Roland-Garros last year, losing to eventual winner Novak Djokovic, and started his 2024 campaign in impressive fashion after 6-1 6-2 6-1 triumph.

    Jack Draper or Jesper de Jong await in the next round for Alcaraz, who headed into this tournament as the youngest player in the Open Era to reach the round of 16 at seven consecutive majors.

    The world number three hammered America's Wolf in the first set on Court Philippe-Chatrier, securing a 1-0 lead after just 37 minutes of action in Paris.

    Wolf held his serve for the first time in the second set but soon fell 5-1 behind, with a comeback never seeming likely against the dominant 21-year-old.

    A string of eye-catching winners helped Alcaraz twice break the struggling Wolf in the thrid set as the two-time major winner made light work under the roof with rain pouring in the French capital.

    Data Debrief: Alcaraz remains perfect in first rounds at majors

    Lucky loser Wolf was aiming for the first top-10 win of his career but came unstuck against Alcaraz, who has triumphed in all 13 of his first-round clashes at grand slam tournaments.

    The imperious Alcaraz also boasts a record of 21-1 against players ranked outside the top 50 at major events, with his only loss coming to Mikael Ymer at the 2021 Australian Open.

  • Rublev battles past Daniel to reach French Open second round Rublev battles past Daniel to reach French Open second round

    Andrey Rublev booked his place in the French Open second round after battling past Taro Daniel in four sets at Roland Garros.

    The sixth seed, who is a two-time quarter-finalist at the season's second major, prevailed 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 7-5 in just over three hours on Court Simonne-Mathieu.

    Rublev triumphed on clay at the Madrid Open earlier this month and dominated the opening set, though his Japanse opponent pegged him back in a second-set tie-break.

    However, the 26-year-old was not to be denied, taking the next two sets to book a showdown with either Pedro Martinez or Thiago Agustin Tirante in the second round.

    Data debrief

    It is now 10 years since Rublev was crowned the boys' singles champion at Roland Garros, while he reached the first of his two men's quarter-finals in 2020.

    One of the most consistent players in recent years, he has now won 223 ATP matches since the start of the 2020 season, with only Daniil Medvedev (225) registering more during that time.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.