Radacanu reaches US Open final
Radacanu reaches US Open final

Kent’s Emma Raducanu is through to the final of the US Open after defeating Maria Sakkari of Greece in straight sets.

The 18-year-old from Bromley has now become the first qualifier in history to ever reach a grand slam final – and the youngest since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 when she was 17.

Posting on her Twitter account after the victory, she wrote: “Pure happiness under the lights in New York.”

Speaking on court after her semi-final win, Radacanu said: “I knew I had some sort of level inside of me that was similar to these girls, but I didn’t know if I was able to maintain it over a set or over two sets.

“To be able to do it and play the best players in the world and beat them, I honestly can’t believe it.

“It’s been extremely difficult because they always fight, they have so much experience which they use. I’m just so, so proud to have come through very tough moments in all of my matches.

“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.”

When asked about her chances in the final, she joked: “Is there any expectation? I’m a qualifier so technically there’s no pressure on me.”

Thursday night’s stunning 6-1 6-4 win means just one match stands between Raducanu and one of the most extraordinary achievements in tennis history.

It’s now going to be an all-teenager final in the US Open. Raducanu is set to face Canada’s Leylah Fernandez who only turned 19 this week, on Saturday.

Raducanu is currently ranked 150th while Fernandez is ranked 73rd – and this is set to be the first major final between two teenagers since a 17-year-old Serena Williams defeated Martina Hingis, also in the US Open, in 1999.