US Open: British teenager Raducanu makes history en route to first slam final in New York

By Sports Desk September 09, 2021

Emma Raducanu made history, the British teenager becoming the first qualifier to reach a grand slam final in the Open Era after upstaging Maria Sakkari in the US Open semi-finals.

Raducanu – the lowest-ranked woman to reach a major semi-final since Wimbledon 2018 – stunned 17th seed Sakkari 6-1 6-4 in New York on Thursday.

The 18-year-old will face fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez, 19, in Saturday's decider at Flushing Meadows after powering past the Greek star, with Raducanu the first Brit to contest a championship match at the US Open since 1968 winner Virginia Wade.

It will be the eighth grand slam final between teenagers in the Open Era and first since the US Open in 1999, when Serena Williams beat Martina Hingis.

Raducanu, who impressed in making this year's Wimbledon fourth round, was the first British woman to reach the semi-final stage of the US Open singles since Jo Durie in 1983 but she was not overawed under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights.

After fending off three break points against Sakkari in the opening game, Raducanu – who had only been broken five times entering the contest – broke for a 2-0 lead.

That set the tone for an incredible first set, which was ultimately decided on second serve as Raducanu blew away her experienced opponent.

Raducanu won 73 per cent of her second serves as she saved seven break points to thwart Sakkari, who only won four of her 13 second serves in comparison.

Sakkari – also looking to reach her first major final – tried to will herself on in the second set, however, the 26-year-old simply had no answers.

Raducanu did not face a break point in the second set as the world number 150 continued her fairytale run in the United States.

 

Data Slam: Raducanu dazzles again

Raducanu only made her grand slam main draw debut at Wimbledon this year, but she is through to her first major decider. She is the youngest slam finalist since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004. Raducanu is also only the fourth British woman in the Open Era to appear in a major final.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Raducanu – 16/17
Sakkari – 17/33

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Raducanu – 4/2
Sakkari – 4/5

BREAK POINTS WON

Raducanu – 3/11
Sakkari – 0/7

Related items

  • Halep sees off compatriot Ruse to advance on home soil Halep sees off compatriot Ruse to advance on home soil

    Simona Halep eased to victory over compatriot Elena-Gabriela Ruse on home soil in Romania to advance through to the last 16 of the Transylvania Open.

    Ruse won her first WTA title at the Hamburg European Open in July and reached the final of the Palermo Ladies Open later that month, but she was second best against Halep.

    The top seed produced a commanding performance as she held serve throughout and broke her opponent twice in both sets to progress 6-1 6-2 in a time of 73 minutes.

    Halep, who departed at the quarter-final stage of the Kremlin Cup last week, is on course to meet US Open winner Emma Raducanu in the semi-finals in Cluj.

    Anett Kontaveit also prevailed on Wednesday with a straight-sets win of her own, the second seed seeing off Aleksandra Krunic 6-3 7-5.

    The 25-year-old, seeking her third WTA 500 indoor trophy in the space of two months, made the most of some Krunic errors to set up a last-16 tie with Alison Van Uytvanck.

    Anhelina Kalinina earlier beat Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-2 6-2 to become the first player to book their place in the quarter-finals.

    At the Courmayeur Open in Italy, top seed Dayana Yastremska required three sets to overcome Kateryna Kozlova 6-1 3-6 7-5.

    Clara Tauson and Ann Li also avoided upsets as they beat Giulia Gatto-Monticone and Kamilla Rakhimova respectively.

  • Chiellini feels De Ligt 'has everything', hopes Raiola does not alter Juve future Chiellini feels De Ligt 'has everything', hopes Raiola does not alter Juve future

    Giorgio Chiellini hopes Matthijs de Ligt is not taken away from Juventus by agent Mino Raiola, as he feels his defensive colleague already "has everything".

    Now 37, Juve captain Chiellini is in the final years of his career, but the future of the Turin giants appears to be in the hands of De Ligt.

    The former Ajax captain is still just 22 and is settled in Serie A in his third season with the Bianconeri.

    De Ligt underwhelmed a little following his €75million transfer to Italy but has since performed well, last committing an error leading to a chance in the league in his debut 2019-20 season.

    Although De Ligt has been limited to six appearances this term, with veteran duo Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci preferred against Inter on Sunday, he is certainly becoming a more dominant defender.

    No Juve defender is contesting (4.5) or winning (3.4) more aerial duels per 90 than De Ligt in 2021-22, while his overall duel success rate for the season is up significantly to 67.4 per cent.

    Indeed, Chiellini believes De Ligt has the full package, telling DAZN: "He's very strong, I call him Thor.

    "If he had been Italian, it would have been easier to keep him for many years, I hope that Mino will give us the pleasure of leaving him a few more years in Turin.

    "He has everything, but the difference is made in the head; he is 22 years old but has the mentality of someone of 30, and he sets himself the goal of wanting to improve every day."

    De Ligt arrived at Juve as Andrea Barzagli retired, but he still finds himself competing with the other two members of the great 'BBC' back line.

    That might not have been the case, however, as Bonucci briefly left for Milan – a move that upset Chiellini.

    "I was hurt. That Milan was a team in difficulty, it was not Real Madrid or even Milan of now," he said. "Today it would be different, but at the time going there meant taking a clear step back.

    "The choices remain personal and must be respected, but if we had been on holiday together that summer I would have made him understand that he was making a mistake. He realised it very soon."

    Chiellini also could have been out the door by now, revealing he considered retiring following the coronavirus outbreak but played on to star at Euro 2020, where Italy won the title.

    "I lived a hard period after my injury," Chiellini said. "I returned after six months and shortly after COVID broke out, and for almost a year I struggled to find the right balance.

    "The thought of retirement made its way into my head but it was the European Championship that kept me going with the desire to be there at all costs."

  • NFL Fantasy Picks: Jones to benefit from Packers' receiver woes, Pitts a must-start NFL Fantasy Picks: Jones to benefit from Packers' receiver woes, Pitts a must-start

    With the NFL approaching the midway point of its season, time is running out to stack fantasy wins and make a run at the postseason.

    Whether you're right in the mix or on the outside looking in, now is the moment to go on a run and ensure you will be playing in the championship bracket.

    The best way to do that is to identify the players with the opportunity to produce a performance that can serve as the backbone of a matchup-winning effort.

    Here Stats Perform looks at four offensive players and a defense who are well-positioned to do just that in Week 8.

     

    Quarterback: Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions

    Hurts is developing a reputation as the king of garbage time stats and, though fantasy owners may not have the benefit of him playing from behind in garbage time this week, he does have an extremely favorable matchup to exploit.

    Through his abilities as a dual-threat quarterback, Hurts has accounted for 2,077 yards of offense and 15 touchdowns so far this season.

    He is averaging 245.1 passing yards per game and 51.5 yards on the ground. Going against a Detroit defense ranked 30th in yards per play, Hurts is a strong candidate to deliver gaudy fantasy numbers.

    Running Back: Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

    On the surface, Jones' matchup with a Cardinals defense ranked eighth in opponent yards per play allowed is a tough one.

    However, only the Los Angeles Chargers are allowing more yards per rush than the Cardinals (4.97), and Jones should see a heavy workload on the ground and through the air.

    Indeed, with Davante Adams a doubt after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and Allen Lazard out for the same reason, Jones - who is second on the Packers behind Adams with 26 receptions - could see a bump in targets from Aaron Rodgers.

    Always a must-start as Green Bay's lead back, Jones' performance on Thursday could be a decisive one for fantasy owners, especially those who play in points per reception leagues.

    Wide Receiver: Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers vs. New England Patriots

    The Chargers will be out to get back on track as they return from a bye week following their Week 6 shellacking at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens.

    And they will be hopeful of hitting on several explosive plays against a Patriots defense that has given up its fair share.

    The Patriots have conceded 77 passes of 10 yards or more, the seventh-most in the NFL.

    That should be music to the ears of Williams, who has eight receptions of 20 yards or more, four games with at least seven receptions and a touchdown and two 100-yard performances. Expect this big-play threat to exploit a vulnerable New England secondary to a significant extent.

    Tight End: Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers

    The Falcons are surging, and much of that is down to the play of rookie tight end Pitts, who is living up to the reputation that saw him picked fourth overall in this year's draft by Atlanta.

    Pitts has at least eight targets in each of his last three games and goes into Week 8 on the back of successive 100-yard performances.

    Having clearly earned the trust of quarterback Matt Ryan, Pitts is receiving the target share and delivering the production to make him a must-start regardless of a tough matchup against a Panthers defense allowing the third-fewest yards per play in the NFL.

    Defense: San Francisco 49ers @ Chicago Bears

    The 49ers are firmly in must-win mode having dropped to 2-4, and the foundation for a winning effort in Chicago appears more likely to be laid by the defense.

    San Francisco forced a pair of turnovers in the Week 7 loss to the Colts and the Niners' chances of adding to their takeaway tally seem strong with Chicago's rookie quarterback Justin Fields having thrown at least one interception in four of his seven appearances.

    Fields committed five turnovers in Chicago's blowout loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last time out and a 49ers' front led by one of the NFL's premier pass rushers in Nick Bosa should be confident of forcing him into more.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.