Emma Raducanu became the first qualifier in tennis history to win a grand slam final after beating Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 in the US Open final on Saturday.

Eighteen-year-old Raducanu, who was ranked 150 by the WTA before the tournament and had only played in one other major (Wimbledon earlier this year), enjoyed a sensational run at Flushing Meadows and proved too strong for Fernandez, 19, who was also contesting her first grand slam final.

Briton Raducanu – the youngest women's grand slam finalist since a 17-year-old Maria Sharapova took the title at Wimbledon in 2004 – showed no signs of nerves in the opening set, taking a decisive advantage.

A roller-coaster second set could have gone either way, but from a break down, Raducanu hit back to serve out the victory in an epic final between two of tennis' rising stars.

Neither player looked fazed by the magnitude of the occasion during the first set, with a series of high-quality rallies and superb winners lighting up Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Raducanu started strongly and went 2-0 up after a pulsating game on Fernandez’s serve, which lasted more than 10 minutes and had seen the Canadian save five break points before eventually succumbing.

Fernandez responded well, though, breaking back immediately before restoring parity on her own serve.

The first set went with serve until Fernandez was serving to stay in it at 5-4 down.

Raducanu squandered three set points before ultimately taking her fourth with a thumping forehand down the line, securing the lead after exactly one hour.

The British player had three break points in the second game of the second set, but Fernandez rallied to hold.

That recovery galvanised Fernandez, who broke Raducanu in the next game at the third time of asking, although her opponent broke back immediately with two wonderful backhands to see out the game.

Raducanu held her serve before opening up a 4-2 lead as Fernandez wilted under a string of excellent shots.

After a dramatic medical time out at 30-40 down on her own serve for a cut below her left knee, which left Fernandez visibly frustrated, Raducanu came back out renewed and served an ace to seal arguably the most unlikely grand slam win of all time.

British tennis was on a super Saturday high at the US Open as Emma Raducanu took centre stage – after Joe Salisbury, Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett celebrated title success.

Salisbury completed a remarkable doubles double, adding the mixed title to the men's crown he secured on Friday, and Reid and Hewett teamed up to clinch a calendar Grand Slam in wheelchair men's doubles.

After Salisbury and American partner Rajeev Ram won the men's doubles title by beating Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, Salisbury returned on Saturday to land another title, the fourth major of his career.

Salisbury teamed up with another American partner, Desirae Krawczyk, to see off Mexican Giuliana Olmos and Salvadorean Marcelo Arevalo 7-5 6-2 on Arthur Ashe Stadium, in the match directly before the women's final.

Raducanu, the world number 150, was going for glory in the women's singles final against another unlikely finalist in Canada's Leylah Fernandez.

If she was seeking inspiration from fellow Britons, it was in plentiful supply, with wheelchair maestros Reid and Hewett scoring a 6-2 6-1 doubles victory over Japan's Shingo Kunieda and Argentina's Gustavo Fernandez.

That meant they sealed a clean sweep of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2021, becoming the first men's wheelchair duo in history to perform that feat.

France's Stephane Houdet previously won a calendar Grand Slam in the event, but he played with two different partners during the 2014 campaign, landing three titles with Kunieda and one with Joachim Gerard.

Leylah Fernandez and Emma Raducanu have taken New York by storm: Saturday's US Open final is one that nobody would have predicted and nobody should miss.

The teenagers from Montreal and London are ranked at 73 and 150 by the WTA, which runs the women's tour, and have sent a clutch of household names scuttling for the Flushing Meadows exits.

In the absence of the familiar formidable presence of Serena Williams, this remarkable duo have taken the grand slam by the scruff of the neck and made it their own, thrilling crowds with their bravura.

Ahead of their clash in Saturday's final, where a life-changing title is up for grabs, Stats Perform looks at how Fernandez and Raducanu have come so far, and the feats left for them still to achieve in the Big Apple.

 

RADUCANU ON A ROLL, MAKING HER FIRST MILLION

It was no secret in British tennis circles that Raducanu was a bright talent, but she prioritised her studies ahead of going on tour and this year's Wimbledon marked her first senior grand slam main-draw appearance. Precocious potential often goes unfulfilled, but Raducanu proved she had the game as well as the wit to handle the big stage as she powered through to the fourth round at the All England Club.

She still had not climbed far enough in the rankings to earn an automatic place in the US Open, so won three qualifying rounds to earn her place. Astonishingly, she has since lost just 27 games in six main-draw matches and has not dropped a set. Serena Williams was the last player to win this title without losing a set, losing 32 games in her 2014 campaign.

The 18-year-old is the first qualifier in tennis history to reach a grand slam final, and just the second woman to reach a final after fewer than three appearances in the majors, after Pam Shriver at the 1978 US Open, her second slam. Shriver lost in her final to Chris Evert, so Raducanu can set a women's tour record for winning a title at the earliest point of a grand slam career, in those terms.

Raducanu is the second Briton to reach the women's final in New York in the Open Era, after 1968 champion Virginia Wade, who has been in the New York crowd this week.

The youngster's career prize money stood at $303,376 before this tournament, and she will become a tennis millionaire whatever the result of the final. The winner takes away $2.5million and the runner-up collects $1.25million.

Previously coached by Andy Murray's father-in-law Nigel Sears, Raducanu has been working under the guidance of former British tennis player Andrew Richardson in recent months, and this run has made her the youngest women's grand slam finalist since a 17-year-old Maria Sharapova took the title at Wimbledon in 2004.

At the US Open, she has become the youngest player to reach the title match since 1999, when a 17-year-old Serena Williams beat Martina Hingis to land the first of 23 singles slams to date.

She is the lowest-ranked player to reach a women's US Open final, besides Kim Clijsters who was a former number one but unranked after coming out of a short-lived retirement to triumph at the 2009 tournament.

FERNANDEZ FLOORS THE STARS, BUT CAN SHE RATTLE RADUCANU?

While Raducanu can count Olympic champion Belinda Bencic among her victims, it has been Fernandez who has been the real giant-killer over this fortnight.

Since making an unassuming start with wins over Ana Konjuh and Kaia Kanepi to reach round three, Fernandez's run has gone into overdrive.

Sinking defending champion Naomi Osaka marked the kick-starting of one of the great charges through a draw, as the Japanese star became the first of three top-five stars to lose to the youngster, Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka being the others.

Fernandez, who turned 19 on Monday, overcame former US Open winner Angelique Kerber, too, and each of those four wins from the third round on has been epic, going to three sets each time and chock-full of tension.

She has become the youngest player to beat more than one player from the top five at the same slam since Serena Williams saw off Monica Seles, Lindsay Davenport and Hingis from the quarter-finals onwards at the 1999 US Open.

What does she have left? And can Fernandez overcome a dismal record against British players? Remarkably she has a 1-6 record at all levels against British opponents, according to the WTA, and only last month she was beaten by Harriet Dart in Montreal.

This will be the first women's grand slam final between two unseeded players. There have only ever been 21 unseeded women's finalists and seven at the US Open, and if one or both of them freezes in the spotlight it would be excusable, but that prospect appears unlikely given their shared brio and sense of belonging at this level.

Fernandez has been a masterful conductor of the crowd, and has become the third Canadian woman to reach a slam final, after Eugenie Bouchard at Wimbledon in 2014 and Bianca Andreescu at the US Open two years ago. Bouchard was runner-up to Petra Kvitova, while Andreescu beat Serena Williams.

Like Raducanu, her career earnings will be transformed whatever the outcome of the trophy match, with Fernandez having banked $786,772 before this spellbinding run.

RISE OF THE TEENAGER

This will be the fourth US Open women's final in the Open Era to be contest by two teenagers, following on from Steffi Graf's win over Gabriela Sabatini in 1988, which sealed a calendar Grand Slam, the victory by Hingis over Venus Williams in 1997, and Serena's win against Hingis two years later.

Although Raducanu and Fernandez are young, they are put in the shade somewhat by the fact a 16-year-old Hingis played a 17-year-old Venus in that 1997 final.

Overall, it will be the ninth Open Era women's final between two teenagers at the majors, and whoever wins will be the youngest champion since Sharapova's Wimbledon triumph.

NATIONAL PRIDE

Raducanu has come from almost nowhere to become British number one, which will be confirmed in the new WTA rankings next week. Should she win the title, she will move to 24 on the global list, and a defeat would mean she sits at number 32, while Fernandez will be 19th if she carries off the trophy and number 27 should she fall short.

The title would make Fernandez Canada's number one, leapfrogging Andreescu.

At around 16:00 in New York on Saturday, two teenagers will step on court, likely to the wild acclaim they richly deserve. Both might have been able to walk the grounds unnoticed a fortnight ago, but Raducanu and Fernandez are globally recognised now.

At a tournament that has been missing a galaxy of stars – the Williams sisters, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to name but four, and we should probably get used to that – these flamboyant greenhorns have shown tennis might just have a future as thrilling as its immediate present.

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).

Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez said "there is no limit to her potential" after beating a third top-five player at the US Open to qualify for her maiden grand slam final in New York.

Fernandez, who celebrated her 19th birthday on Monday, shocked second seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4 in two hours, 20 minutes on Thursday.

British teenager Emma Raducanu, 18, awaits in Saturday's final at Flushing Meadows.

The decider will be the eighth grand slam final in the Open Era between teenagers and first since the 1999 US Open when Serena Williams defeated Martina Hingis. Williams, who remains an active player, has gone on to win 23 major titles, while Hingis won five.

"Impossible is nothing. Like my dad would tell me all the time there's no limit to my potential to what I can do," Fernandez told reporters post-match.

"Nothing's impossible. There's no limit to what I can do. I'm just glad that right now everything's going well."

Fernandez only claimed her maiden WTA Tour title in March, triumphing at the Monterrey Open, while she is only playing her third grand slam, never going further than the third round until this tournament.

The Montreal-born talent labelled her US Open run as "magical" having knocked out top-five trio Sabalenka, defending champion Naomi Osaka and fifth seed Elina Svitolina, along with three-time slam winner Angelique Kerber.

"I think I've been doing some things incredible," Fernandez said. "One word that really stuck to me is 'magical' because not only is my run really good but also the way I'm playing right now.

"I'm just having fun, I'm trying to produce something for the crowd to enjoy. I'm glad that whatever I'm doing on court, the fans are loving it and I'm loving it, too. We'll say it's magical."

Fernandez also revealed when she was in grade six, a teacher had told her to stop playing tennis and focus on school.

"I'm just glad that she told me that because every day I have that phrase in my head saying that I'm going to keep going, I'm going to push through, and I'm going to prove to her everything that I've dreamed of I'm going to achieve them," she said. "I think now I can say that I've done a pretty good job in achieving my dreams."

Aryna Sabalenka said she "destroyed" herself and bemoaned her inability to take opportunities after suffering a shock loss to teenage sensation Leylah Fernandez in the semi-finals of the US Open.

Sabalenka – the second seed – was beaten 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4 to 19-year-old unseeded Canadian Fernandez at Flushing Meadows on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Sabalenka, who has won more matches than any player on the WTA Tour this year, has never reached a major final and her wait continues after also falling in the Wimbledon semis in June.

Sabalenka squandered a set point in the opening set, before losing her final service game to love to bow out on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"This is life. If you're not using your opportunities, someone else will use it," Belarusian star Sabalenka said at her post-match news conference. "This is what happened today.

"This is what we call pressure. I had a lot of opportunities and I didn't use it. I will try to improve it. I will keep working and fighting, and I believe that one day it will come."

Sabalenka had dominated early, leading 3-0 inside 10 minutes as she barely missed a first serve, before Fernandez rallied to claim the first set.

"I wouldn't say that she did something. I would say that I destroy myself," Sabalenka said. "On the key moment, I was up 4-2 serving, and I think I made double-faults. My first-serve percentage wasn't really good."

Sabalenka identified a key lesson for her was not to "over-think" opportunities, while she was positive about her conqueror Fernandez, who she said was playing like a "top-10 player".

"Now there is no pressure on her at all. Crowd are here for her," Sabalenka said.

"But the question is when you will start to understand what's going on and where you are, how good can you deal with all these expectations and all this level, all this pressure.

"She's like a top-10 player. We'll see how good she will be in the future."

Fernandez will play 18-year-old Emma Raducanu in Saturday's final, marking the first time two teenagers have met in a grand slam decider since Martina Hingis and Serena Williams at Flushing Meadows in 1999.

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

Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez shocked US Open second seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4 to reach her first grand slam final on Thursday.

Fernandez continued her giant-slaying run at Flushing Meadows, where the 19-year-old sensation has stunned defending champion Naomi Osaka, 2016 winner Angelique Kerber, fifth seed Elina Svitolina and Sabalenka en route to the decider.

Fellow teenage sensation Emma Raducanu or 17th seed Maria Sakkari await Fernandez in Saturday's final in New York.

The defeat is a bitter blow for Belarusian star Sabalenka, who has never reached a major final, having also lost in the final four at Wimbledon this year.

The semi-final was full of momentum swings, but 52-23 unforced errors and 8-2 double faults ultimately were costly for Sabalenka, who lost the final game on her serve to love to hand Fernandez victory.

Sabalenka had raced to an early 3-0 lead inside 10 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium, dominating with her power, missing only one of her first 13 first serves, before Fernandez settled into the contest.

Trailing 4-2, Fernandez – the youngest woman to beat multiple top-five opponents at the same slam since Serena Williams in 1999 – broke back as Sabalenka's first serve let her down, with the former converting the third of three break points.

Fernandez, who survived a break point to level it up at 4-4, eventually closed out the first set in a tie-break.

Sabalenka made a statement by breaking to love in the opening game of the second set, but Fernandez responded with a break of her own to level it at 2-2.

The second seemed destined for another tie-break, however Sabalenka broke to lead 5-4 and she never looked back as the 23-year-old forced a deciding set.

Fernandez seized control, breaking Sabalenka to move 4-2 ahead, though the latter responded immediately, despite the teenager taking her service game to deuce after trailing 0-40.

However, Fernandez held serve at 5-4 before breaking Sabalenka again to love to claim another memorable victory at the US Open.

Data Slam: Oh, Canada!

Fernandez's victory marks the second time in three years that a Canadian teenager has reached the US Open final, with then-19-year-old Bianca Andreescu beating Serena Williams in 2019. Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime remains alive in the men's semi-finals too.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Fernandez – 26/23
Sabalenka – 45/52

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Fernandez – 6/2
Sabalenka – 10/8

BREAK POINTS WON

Fernandez – 4/7
Sabalenka – 4/11

Maria Sakkari reached her second grand slam semi-final of the year after upstaging fourth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4 6-4 at the US Open.

Sakkari made history at this year's French Open, where she became the first Greek woman to reach a grand slam singles semi-final.

The 17th seed continued her impressive 2021 with a straight-sets victory over former world number one and 2016 US Open finalist Pliskova in New York on Wednesday.

After one hour, 21 minutes on court, Sakkari will face high-flying English teenager Emma Raducanu for a spot in the Flushing Meadows decider.

Pliskova entered the quarter-final, having rediscovered her best form after a slow start to the season – the Czech star claimed just 15 wins from her first 12 WTA Tour tournaments before winning 19 matches from five events, reaching two finals, since the start of July.

But Sakkari proved too good on Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the 26-year-old utilised her almost flawless serve.

Sakkari lost just two points on serve in the opening set – claiming 92 per cent of her first serves, while hitting 12 winners and clinching the decisive break.

Pliskova owned three top-20 wins this season as she was looking to emulate countrywoman Hana Mandlikova, who won the US Open in 1985.

But the second set followed a similar pattern, Sakkari tallying 10 winners while winning 11 of her 12 first serves, closing out the match at the third time of asking.

 

Data Slam: Sakkari matches career high

With her dominant win over Pliskova, Sakkari – who did not face a break point – tallied her 31st victory of the year. It equalled her best return from 2019, when she finished with a 31-23 win-loss record.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Pliskova – 14/20
Sakkari – 22/12

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Pliskova – 6/3
Sakkari – 4/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Pliskova – 0/0
Sakkari – 2/5

Emma Raducanu says she is on her "own journey" after sensationally reaching the semi-finals of the US Open.

Raducanu's 6-3 6-4 win over Belinda Bencic – her first career top-40 opponent – saw her become the first qualifier in the Open Era to advance to the last four at Flushing Meadows, the 18-year-old doing so without dropping a set.

She also became the lowest-ranked player in history (150) to make this stage of the tournament, with Kim Clijsters in 2009 and Billie Jean King in 1979 achieving the same feat having been unranked.

Raducanu, who will face either Karolina Pliskova or Maria Sakkari for a place in the final, said: "I have an absolutely amazing team. I have a team back home who could not be here. I am sure they are watching, I hope!

"Thank you so much everyone. I wish you could be here with me but everything we have been working for has shown here.

"To have so many young players here doing so well shows how strong the next generation is. Everyone is on their trajectory, so I am just here doing what I can control, and it is my own journey."

Raducanu grew into the contest after being immediately broken to love and trailing 2-0, proving particularly robust on her opponent's serve.

Bencic landed 61 per cent of her first serves yet managed only a single ace. The Olympic champion was made to work for the 23 points she won on her first serve and then took just nine of a potential 21 on her second.

Raducanu, who managed six aces of her own, added: "Of course, playing Belinda, she is such a great opponent and is in great form, she hits the ball so hard, I had to adjust and adapt and it was a really tough match.

"I am so happy to come through and thank you so much for all your support today.

"It was 0-30 in my last couple of service games so to hold was pretty big, it was one point at a time and trying to focus on what I can control.

"Belinda was going to fight to the end but I am really pleased to come through that."

Emma Raducanu's stunning run at the US Open went on as she claimed the biggest scalp of her career against Belinda Bencic to reach the semi-finals, making history in the process.

Raducanu is the first qualifier in the Open Era to advance to the last four at Flushing Meadows and is sensationally still yet to drop a set, this time overcoming the Olympic champion – her first career top-40 opponent – 6-3 6-4.

Now, in this US Open packed full of surprises, the 18-year-old will certainly fancy her chances against either Karolina Pliskova or Maria Sakkari.

Raducanu had lost the opening two games against Shelby Rogers in the previous round but then won 12 of the remaining 13. She would have been prepared then for another tough start, immediately broken to love and again trailing 2-0.

The teenager soon grew into the contest and had Bencic on the back foot, able to squander an opportunity in the sixth game with a rash, rushed effort at the end of a rally but still break when her opponent double-faulted and then found the net.

Raducanu battled back from 0-30 down to hold and went after the Bencic serve again. Her ability to consistently return unsettled the more experienced player, who survived a scare after another double fault yet was beaten at the net when the next break point arrived, teed up by a staggering rally and forehand winner.

The opener was swiftly settled before Bencic gained a measure of control in the second only to be disrupted by the same issues again. A sublime Raducanu return gave her another opportunity, taken courtesy of the latest double fault.

Three-time major champion Andy Murray had told Amazon Prime that Raducanu would find it "difficult" to enjoy this match, but she cracked a smile having passed up a further opening and a wide grin then greeted the momentous clinching point.

Data Slam: Bencic beaten by Raducanu returns

This match was decided on Bencic's serve, as she became increasingly frustrated by her inability to break down Raducanu's return game. The 11th seed landed 61 per cent of her first serves yet fired in only a single ace. Bencic was made to work for the 23 points she won on her first serve and then took just nine of a potential 21 on her second.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Raducanu – 23/12
Bencic – 19/21

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Raducanu – 6/2
Bencic – 1/5

BREAK POINTS WON

Raducanu – 3/6
Bencic – 1/5

Aryna Sabalenka has ranked among the top dozen players in the world since 2018, but her grand slam results always seemed underwhelming. 

In 12 career majors heading into 2021, Sabalenka had advanced past the third round only once, a fourth-round exit at the 2018 US Open. 

Now she is into her second successive grand slam semi-final after defeating Barbora Krejcikova 6-1 6-4 Tuesday, and she said the adjustments she has made this year have paid off. 

"I think I improved my volley game, my slice game," Sabalenka told ESPN after her latest win. "I mean, I would like to say my service game [too] but today's didn't work well."

She added with a smile: "I don't know, maybe the court's a little bit smaller, I don't know, I need to check it. But, yeah, I improved a lot."

Indeed, Sabalenka won seven of eight net points (to eight of 14 for her opponent) and consistently won points on her first serve even though it did not go in as often as she would have liked. 

Sabalenka entered the match having won 82 per cent of points on her first serve in the tournament and was down to 76 per cent Tuesday as she got only 57 per cent of her first serves in the court, but that was plenty good enough to handle Krejcikova. 

She said she focussed on putting as many balls back in play as she could and believed that was the key to her victory, as her opponent had 29 unforced errors and just 14 winners. 

Though the match was rather one-sided, Sabalenka enjoyed the support of the crowd in her first time playing Arthur Ashe Stadium during the night session. 

"I really love to be in New York and the US Open, one of my favourite slams, and I'm really enjoying my game here and every second on this court," she said. 

She also knows she probably will not get the same level of fan support in the semi-final, where she will face Canadian teen sensation Leylah Fernandez. 

"She's playing well, she's moving well and the crowd here [is] for her so I would say it's like nothing to lose for her," Sabalenka said. "It's going to be interesting match and I'm really looking forward to this one."

Aryna Sabalenka is into the semi-finals at a second successive grand slam after making easy work of Barbora Krejcikova at the US Open on Tuesday. 

The second seed cruised past eighth-seeded Krejcikova 6-1 6-4 to set up a semi-final meeting with Canadian teen Leylah Fernandez at Flushing Meadows. 

Sabalenka is coming off a semi-final appearance at Wimbledon, her best career result in a major, and she was rarely tested in her quarter-final rout of Krejcikova.

The pair appeared evenly matched heading in, both having won 42 matches this year with Krejcikova taking three tournament titles – including Roland Garros – and Sabalenka two. But there was a clear separation between the pair on this night at Arthur Ashe Stadium. 

Sabalenka started strong, breaking Krejcikova in her first service game to take an early lead and never looking back as she hit 12 winners to the Czech's five in the opening set.

Krejcikova lost her last chance to salvage the first set in the sixth game, as she double-faulted on the fourth break point she faced in the game to give Sabalenka a 5-1 lead before the Belarusian had an easy hold to secure the set. 

The second set featured more of the same as Sabalenka broke her opponent in the opening game, dropping only one point as Krejcikova imploded with three unforced errors and a double fault. 

Sabalenka was not quite as sharp as the set unfolded, falling behind 0-30 in consecutive service games, but she fought back to win both without facing a break point. 

While Krejcikova stablised on her own service games, the damage was done. Sabalenka served out the match without dropping a point, capping her triumph with an ace. 

 

Data Slam: Sabalenka top winner on Tour

The victory was Sabalenka's 43rd match win of the year against 14 losses, breaking a tie with Krejcikova (42-11) and Ash Barty (42-8), both of whom have won grand slam titles this season, for the most WTA Tour wins in 2021. 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Krejcikova – 14/29
Sabalenka – 22/23

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Krejcikova– 4/5
Sabalenka – 6/7

BREAK POINTS WON

Krejcikova – 1/6
Sabalenka – 4/10

US Open semi-finalist Leylah Fernandez joked Canada's staple sweet treat must be behind the country's emergence of talent after she continued her remarkable run at Flushing Meadows.

Fernandez – who turned 19 on Monday – beat world number five Elina Svitolina  6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5) to book her spot in the last four in New York.

She is the youngest player to reach the semi-finals at the major since Maria Sharapova back in 2005, and has already beat defending champion Naomi Osaka and former world number one Angelique Kerber.

Fernandez won her first title earlier in the season, triumphing in Monterrey, but this was her first appearance in a grand slam quarter, and she had to come through it in a third-set tie-break – the seventh at this year's edition of the tournament, already more than in the previous three combined.

She is not the only youngster flying the flag for Canada, however, with Felix Auger-Aliassime in action in the men's side of the draw, facing Spain's Carlos Alcaraz – the youngest ever quarter-finalist at the US Open in the Open Era.

Asked in her on-court interview for the reason Canada are producing such talented youngsters, an ecstatic Fernandez quipped: "I would say it's the maple syrup! The Canadian maple syrup is very good!"

Explaining her win, Fernandez said: "I honestly have no idea what I'm feeling right now. I was so nervous, thank you so much to the crowd, the New York crowd, cheering me on, fighting for me, never giving up for me. Thanks to you I was able to push through today.

"Svitolina, she's a great player, she fought for everything, she runs for everything, she deserves to be in the quarter-finals and I'm honoured to have a fight with her.

"I told myself to trust my shots, trust that everything was going to go well and even if I lose, I had to go for it and I'm glad I did."

 

Fernandez is coached by her father, who was not in attendance at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"He told me to go out there, have fun, fight for every ball, for every point," the teenager said.

"Today's your first quarter-final, don't make it your last, don't make it your last match over here, fight for your dream.

"My family tell me after every match to just enjoy it, tomorrow is a new day, I'll start from zero and work hard now."

Next up is a semi-final with either Aryna Sabelenka or Barbora Krejcikova, the winner of this year's French Open.

"I'm not going to think about it," Fernandez concluded. "I'm going to enjoy tonight, I'll leave the planning and strategy to my dad back home."

Leylah Fernandez carried on her brilliant form to clinch a place in the semi-finals of the US Open with a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5) victory over Elina Svitolina.

The newly turned 19-year-old has put her name into the history books with a wonderful run at Flushing Meadows, dethroning the defending champion Naomi Osaka and three-time grand slam winner Angelique Kerber on her way to the quarter-finals.

Fernandez's streak will not stop there, and she will now play for a place in the final after overcoming world number five Svitolina in a tense tussle at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Svitolina was the first to blink as Fernandez broke to nose ahead in the first set, which she took in 40 minutes.

Yet the 2019 US Open semi-finalist struck back in set two, saving three break points to serve out the set.

The Canadian made a brilliant start to the decider, only to concede serve immediately after nudging herself into the lead.

Fernandez rallied herself to break again and Svitolina looked beaten, with the youngster on the verge of the semi-final at 5-2 up.

Once again, however, Svitolina found some resolve, reeling off three consecutive games and forcing a tie-break.

Despite Svitolina seemingly finding a second wind, it was Fernandez who raced into a 4-1 lead, only to once more be pegged back.

Svitolina found another ace to make it 5-5, but a passing shot from Fernandez clipped the net to evade the Ukrainian, who then sent a return long – to the jubilation of the crowd – that sealed a stunning triumph for Fernandez, who collapsed to the court in tears.

Data Slam: New ground for another teenage sensation

Fernandez turned 19 on Monday and celebrated in incredible style a day later. It is her first grand slam semi-final, as she hunts what would just be a third Tour final overall (and a second title after her Monterrey success this year). She will need to cut down on her unforced errors (31), and she only hit one ace compared to Svitolina's eight, but in what was just her second third-set tie-break, Fernandez showed maturity well beyond her years. Next up, it is Aryna Sabalenka or French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Svitolina – 32/25
Fernandez – 42/31

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Svitolina – 8/3
Fernandez – 1/5

BREAK POINTS WON

Svitolina – 4/6
Fernandez – 4/10

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