Ten powerhouses Leila Fernandez and Emma Radukano have each won their first Grand Slam final at the US Open, showcasing the next generation’s great talents.
Radokano, an 18-year-old British man who reached the first four to become the last US Open qualifier, and Canadian Fernandez, who removed Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber before the age of 19 on Monday, played a key role in the women’s semifinals on Thursday. What Arthur Ashe Stadium.
73rd-ranked left-hander Fernandez will face second-seeded Irina Sabalinka of Belarus, who has had her deepest slam run at Wimbledon since July, while 150th-ranked Radukano will face 17th-seeded Maria Sakari of Greece. Yes, that’s right you can now become known as a Lord of the Rings. From the June French Open
“I think we all have the same chances to win the semi-finals and then the title,” Sakari said. “We’re all here for a reason. We’re all playing well.”
One of the four will win its first Grand Slam title in the final of the week, which could be a great tragedy.
“I’ve known Leila since we were juniors, in the under-12s,” Radukano said. “We played the Orange Bowl and all those tournaments. I played it at Junior Wimbledon.
“The fact that we’ve both been in the semi-finals after playing together since the early days of the US Open, it’s great to see how far we’ve come. He’s a really cool guy.”
23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who turned 40 later this month, won her first major title at the 1999 US Open at the age of 17, three years before Radukano or Fernandez was born.
In any slam, only the fourth qualifier in the semi-finals, Radukano, can become the first qualifier to reach the Grand Slam final.
“We are all very hungry for change in the world of tennis,” said Fernandez. “I’m glad we’re doing such a great job and doing just that.
“We want to make an impact. This tournament proves how well we’re handling everything.”
Tokyo Olympic champion Belinda Bank, who lost to Radukano in the quarterfinals, hopes the rising stars will find a nurturing environment for growth.
“It’s great for tennis. It’s obviously big stories.” “I really hope everyone will protect them and hope for the best for them and not try to put so much pressure around them that it becomes too much. A little bit.”
Dear Fernandez, 23-year-old Sabalinka looks forward to facing the crowd, whose pressure and powerful shot-making have created a state of shock.
“She is playing well, she is doing well. I would say she has nothing to lose,” Sabalinka said. “She’s a great player. She’s fighting for every point. There’s a crowd and they’re helping her.
“It will be interesting. We are really looking forward to this match.”
Sabalinka is hoping for her own breakthrough title at the start of her 16th Salem.
“Hopefully I’ll keep it,” he said. “I’m really proud of myself. I’m here in the semi-finals and I have another chance to do my best.”
Radukano, who gave a cupcake in the locker room to celebrate his birthday, did not drop a set at the open.
She is aiming to become the first British woman to win a Grand Slam title since Virginia Wade at Wimbledon in 1977 and the first British woman to win the US Open since Wade in 1968.
Radukano became the youngest US Open women’s semi-finalist since Maria Sharapova in 2005.
“The fact that so many young players here are doing so well shows how strong the next generation is,” Radukano said.
“There’s definitely an element of being young and free – there’s a standard to it, free swing and loose.”
Sakari, 26, has beaten Petra Kvitova, Carolina Pliskova and Bianca Andresco in the top 10.
“I beat some very good players. My tennis is still in a good place,” Sakari said. “I’m at the best age of my career.”