Greek tennis star Maria Sakkari praised Emma Raducanu, 18, and 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez following a disappointing US Open exit. Sakkari, who was playing her second Grand Slam semifinal, once again failed to reach her maiden Grand Slam final.
World No. 18 Sakkari entered the match as the slight favorite but she stood no chance against Raducanu as the rising Britisn star won 6-1 6-4. In the second semifinal, world No. 73 Fernandez surprised No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka.
"I mean, it's huge what she has accomplished. They are both young. They play fearless. They have nothing to lose playing against us," Sakkari said. "But as I said I have to give credit to both of them, both of the young girls, that they take their chances.
They're out there fighting for that title. Very well done to both for getting here."
Sakkari impressed with Raducanu's approach
World No. 150 Raducanu became the first player ever to make a Grand Slam final as a qualifier.
Raducanu has now a total of nine matches at the US Open and she has yet to drop a set at Flushing Meadows. "No. I mean, I've played with players, for example, Kvitova. The ball comes extremely fast. Not like it's a ball that comes very fast and you have no time to react," Sakkari noted.
"But as I said earlier, she plays fearless. She absolutely goes for it. She does the right thing actually. She goes for it. She has nothing to lose. She's enjoying herself. "But we were all absent from the court these days playing against her.
I saw Belinda yesterday. I don't want to speak for her, but I think she would agree with me that we did not bring our best performance. "I'm sad. I'm very broken that I couldn't make it to my first final once again. But I'm positive that it will come sometime soon."