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US Open 2021 – ‘Unbelievable, absolute star’ – Reaction as Emma Raducanu makes history in reaching final

US Open 2021 - 'Unbelievable, absolute star' - Reaction as Emma Raducanu makes history in reaching final

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Emma Raducanu has become the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam singles final in 44 years after she beat Greek 17th seed Maria Sakkari, 6-1 6-4, at the US Open and the reaction has been flooding in.

The unseeded rising star from London showed her class and remarkable composure once again on the very biggest stage in the sport to dominate the match from the outset and move to within a match of Grand Slam glory.

In so doing, the seemingly fearless Raducanu has already become the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam singles final for 44 years, since Virginia Wade in 1977.

Raducanu had already become the first qualifier in history to reach the last four of the women’s draw in New York, and now the 18 year old has gone one step further in reaching Saturday’s showpiece final.

The new British number one comprehensively outplayed the fiery Sakkari, and she will now take on fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez of Canada in what is an improbable and magical final. It is an achievement few can really fathom.

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Emma Raducanu of Great Britain celebrates winning match point to defeat Maria Sakkari of Greece during their Women’s Singles semifinals match on Day Eleven of the 2021 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Image credit: Getty Images

The final on Saturday could hardly be more intriguing and exciting with Fernandez – just one year older than the Brit – having earlier overcome second seed Aryna Sabalenka, 7-6(3) 4-6 6-4, in the opening semi-final.

“Honestly, today I wasn’t thinking about anyone else except for myself,” a delighted Raducanu joked when asked about the nerves felt by her team.

“While I have the moment, I just really want to thank my team, the LTA and everyone back home for their support – I wouldn’t be here without it.

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“Tonight, playing under the lights on Arthur Ashe, it’s one of the most iconic things in tennis and I was just so excited to come out here and play in front of you guys. Thank you for coming.”

Asked about coping with the expectation ahead of the final, she added: “I mean, is there any expectation? I’m a qualifier, so technically on paper there’s no pressure on me.”

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