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18-Year-Old Becomes First British Woman To Reach Major Tennis Final In 44 Years

by : Hannah Smith on : 10 Sep 2021 07:22
18-Year-Old Becomes First British Woman To Reach Major Tennis Final In 44 YearsPA Images

18-year old Emma Raducanu has made it to the US Open final, becoming the first British woman to reach a major tennis final in almost half a century.

Raducanu beat Maria Sakkari of Greece in straight-sets, the latest of a string of dominant performances which has seen her come through the tournament without dropping a single set, and with the fewest games lost of anyone in the draw.

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Raducanu will take on 19-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez in the final, in what will be the first US Open women’s final in history contested by two unseeded players, and the first since 1999 to involve two teenagers.

Emma Raducanu celebrates after reaching the final (PA Images)PA Images

‘In moments like this you definitely can’t get ahead of yourself and you need stay present,’ Raducanu said following the match. ‘The time in New York has gone so quickly, I’ve been taking care of each day and three weeks later I’m in the final. I actually can’t believe it.’

As well as being the first British woman to reach a grand slam final since 1977, Raducanu is also the first ever qualifier to make it through to the US Open women’s final, having been offered a wildcard into the qualifying tournament after she gained attention for reaching the fourth round of her home slam Wimbledon earlier this year.

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Emma Raducanu (PA Images)PA Images

The last British woman to win a grand slam was Virginia Wade, who lifted the Wimbledon trophy in 1977 and was also the last British woman to reach the US Open final, 53 years ago.

Incredibly, this is only Raducanu’s second-ever major tournament, with the 18-year-old having only recently resumed playing tennis professionally after taking a break to focus on her A-Levels. Following her amazing run she is now guaranteed to become British number one and will also enter the top 50 of the world rankings.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: Sport, Now, Tennis

Credits

BBC
  1. BBC

    Emma Raducanu reaches US Open final in New York