[U.S. Open] British teen Raducanu becomes first to reach Grandslam finals


British teen Emma Raducanu stunned the tennis world on Thursday by becoming the first qualifier to reach a Grand Slam final after beating Greece’s Maria Sakkari 6-1 6-4 in her U.S. Open semi-final on Thursday.

With British tennis royalty Tim Henman and Virginia Wade looking on, Raducanu fended off seven break points across her first two service games and capitalized on a trio of double faults from Sakkari on the way to a 5-0 lead in the first set.

Down a break in the second set, Sakkari then fought off five break points in a near 10-minute seventh game but the 18-year-old Raducanu would not be denied the victory and went on to seal the match and set up a final against 19-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez.

“Honestly I just can’t believe it. A shock. Crazy,” she said. “To be in a Grand Slam final at this stage of my career, yeah, I have no words.”

Playing in just her fourth tour-level tournament, Raducanu has not dropped a set in New York and completely outmatched 17th seed Sakkari, who reached the Roland Garros semis this year.

“Today was always going to be a very difficult match, to play against Maria Sakkari. She’s an unbelievable player, probably one of the best athletes out there on tour,” she said.

“I knew before the match I was going to have to play some of my best tennis if I wanted a chance.”

The Greek had 33 unforced errors in the one hour and 24-minute match and struggled mightily with her first serve.

“It’s tough to get yourself back in the match when nothing is going right and everything is going very good for the opponent,” Sakkari told reporters.

She also had to leave the court early in the match because her skirt was not the right size.

“I took the wrong size of my skirt. It was a size larger,” added Sakkari. “I could not play. It was falling. I was pretty quick, though.”