19-year-old Fil-Canadian Leylah Fernandez and 18-year-old Emma Raducanu from Great Britain are headed for the finals of the US Open.
They say with age comes experience. But for Leylah Fernandez and Emma Raducanu, the two teenage girls are currently living their dreams as they romped through their more experienced competition at the US Open. Now, both of them are making history by becoming the first all-teen finals match-up at the Women’s US Open in more than two decades.
LEYLAH FERNANDEZ DEFEATS THE GREATS
For 19-year-old Filipino Canadian Leylah Fernandez, her journey to the US Open finals wasn’t easy. She was up against some of the best players in the world, including defending champion Naomi Osaka. But she surprised and shocked many by defeating all her highly-skilled opponents. She beat Naomi with a score of 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-4 during the third round. Leylah, who was born in Montreal, Canada to an Ecuadorean father and a Filipino-Canadian mother, also defeated former world number one ranking player, Angelique Kerber, from Germany with a score of 4-6, 7-6(7/5), 6-2.
Leylah’s winning streak continued when she took down World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka with a score of 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-4 to make it to the finals. This marks the first time the 19-year-old, who’s currently ranked 73 in the world, will play in the Grand Slam finals.
EMMA RADUCANU BREEZES THROUGH HER SETS
18 year old Emma Raducanu from Great Britain, meanwhile, was a dominant force in her games. She defeated World No. 18 Maria Sakkari in the semifinals with a dominant score of 6-1, 6-4. Emma, who’s currently ranked 150 in the world, won every set in all her six matches including against Olympic gold medalist, Belinda Bencic.
Counting her US Open debut, this is just the second time for Emma, who has a Chinese mother and Romanian father, to play in a Grand Slam. She made her Grand Slam debut in Wimbledon this year and progressed to Round 16. At just 18 years old, Emma Raducanu is the youngest player to have made it to a Grand Slam final since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon at 17 years old in 2004.
With Leylah and Emma set to face off in the finals, this makes it the eighth Grand Slam to feature two teenagers in the Open era. This also is the first time two teenagers made it to the finals at the US Open in more than two decades. The last time this happened was when a then 17-year-old Serena Williams defeated a then 18-year-old Martina Hingis at the 1999 US Open finals.
This won’t be the first time the two girls will face each other on the tennis court. The two first played against each other at the 2018 Wimbledon girls’ event where Emma won it by 6-2, 6-4. So you could say this rematch was years in the making but on a much bigger stage with much bigger stakes. Regardless of who wins, both girls have made history and have proven that they are part of the new generation of tennis stars to watch out for. The finals will be on September 12, Sunday.
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