Emma Raducanu pips Maria Sakkari; completes all-teen final at US Open

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Emma Raducanu pips Maria Sakkari; completes all-teen final at US Open

Emma Raducanu caused yet another upset, this time over 17th seed Maria Sakkari, to reach the final of the 2021 US Open on Thursday. The Briton posted a commanding 6-1, 6-4 win over the Greek in an hour and 23 minutes. Sakkari had entered the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows on the back of an impressive show of serve against Karolina Pliskova.

However, Raducanu neutralised her serve and dominated her from the get-go. The Briton saved a couple of break points to keep herself firmly ahead in the set while breaking Sakkari’s serve twice. The world no. 18 didn’t win a game in the first set until the sixth game of the set and by that time, the set had been wrenched away from her.

Raducanu went on to successfully serve for the set in the seventh game. Sakkari lost her serve in the third game of the second set and never recovered from that lapse. A lengthy game ensued between the two in the seventh game and Sakkari saved five break points, recovering from a 0-40 deficit to keep the margin between her rival and her to just the one break of serve.

Sakkari’s defiance to not give up lasted until the 10th game of the set as Raducanu served out the match without any problems on her first match point.

US Open: Emma Raducanu's way forward

The highest-ranked player left in the draw had won around 74% off her second serves against Pliskova.

But against Raducanu, she could only manage to win 34% points off her second serves. In comparison, the teenager won 69% points off her second serves. While Raducanu broke Sakkari thrice in the course of the match, she also saved all seven break points she faced.

In terms of winners and unforced errors, both players had a near-similar tally of winners – Sakkari had 17 while Raducanu had 16. However, the Greek had almost twice as many unforced errors as Raducanu’s – 33 to the latter’s 17.

Raducanu’s the first qualifier to reach the final of a Major. She’s also the youngest player to make it to a Grand Slam final since Leylah Fernandez reached the US Open final, a few hours ago, after winning her semi-final against Aryna Sabalenka.

The final between Emma Raducanu and Fernandez is also the first that two unseeded players will contest a Major final in the Open Era. Photo Credit: Darren Carroll/USTA