Extraordinary Emma Raducanu Makes US Open History, Sets Up First Unseeded Final In Open Era - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Extraordinary Emma Raducanu Makes US Open History, Sets Up First Unseeded Final In Open Era

Britain’s 44-year wait for a female Grand Slam finalist has come to an end following what has been a fairytale run by the teenage qualifier.

Avatar

Published

on

Emma Raducanu reacts after winning a Women's Singles semifinal match at the 2021 US Open, Thursday, Sep. 9, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Darren Carroll/USTA)

The remarkable run of world No.150 Emma Raducanu continues to break records after the British underdog stunned Maria Sakkari in straight sets to reach the US Open final.

 

Playing in just her second Grand Slam main draw and only her 12th match on the WTA Tour, the 18-year-old once again defeated the odds to prevail 6-1, 6-4, under the lights on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Becoming the first qualifier to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open Era. Against Sakkari, who is currently ranked 132 places higher than her, Raducanu saved all seven of the break points she faced and fired 16 winners past her opponent.

“Honestly the time here in New York has gone so fast. I’ve just been taking care of each day and three weeks later I’m in final. I can’t actually believe it,” Raducanu said following the milestone win.
“Today I wasn’t thinking about anyone else except for myself. While I have the moment I want to thank my team and the LTA and everyone at home for all their support.
“Since I’ve been here from the first round of the quallies I’ve had unbelievable support.”

Ranked outside the world’s top 300 at the start of this year, the rapid rise of the Brit has caught many off guard and has even stunned the women’s Tour which is renowned for its unpredictability. Just 15 days ago she started her US Open campaign in the qualifying rounds. Since then, she has gone on to win nine matches in a row without dropping a single set. Sakkari was only the second top 20 player she had faced in her career after Belinda Bencic who she defeated in the quarter-finals.

“In the US Open I wasn’t really sure how my level was going to be. In a way my tennis level has surprised me that I’ve managed step up against some of the best players in the world,” Raducanu commented on her run.
“I personally think inside 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.”

Raducanu has become the first British woman to reach a major final since Virginia Wade at the 1977 Wimbledon Championships. Wade was also the last British woman to reach the final of the US Open back in 1969.

Awaiting Raducanu in the final will be another rising star in the shape of 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez, who is on a breakthrough run herself. The giant-killing Canadian has already scored a trio of wins over top five seeds Naomi Osaka, Elina Svitolina and more recently Aryna Sabalenka. She has also beaten former champion Angelique Kerber. It is the first time in the Open Era that a Grand Slam final will be contested by two players who are not seeded.

“Honestly, right now I’m just thinking of the game plan, how to execute. That’s what’s landed me in this situation. It hasn’t been focusing on who’s expected to win this match or that one. I think it’s just taking care of the day. That’s what I’m doing quite well at the moment,” she said.

Saturday’s final will be the first meeting between Raducanu and Fernandez on the professional Tour. Although they did play each other a few times on the junior circuit. Despite playing three more matches than her opponent, Raducanu has still spent less time on the court (11 hours and 34 minutes against 12 hours and 45 minutes).

Born in Canada to a Chinese mother and Romanian father before moving to the UK at the age of two, Raducanu believes her rapid rise wouldn’t have been possible without the support of her parents. Saying her mother installed the concept of hard work and discipline in her. One of the players she would idolise growing up was Li Na who won two major titles during her career.

“When I was younger I would take a lot of inspiration from Li Na, even now just the way she was such a fierce competitor,” She said.
“I think all her belief, she had extremely good weapons, her movement, her mentality, but her inner strength and belief really stood out for me. I remember watching her play Schiavone in French Open final. That was definitely a long, tough match. But the amount of mental strength and resilience she showed, that match still sticks in my head today.”

Raducanu is now set to surge up the WTA rankings to 32nd in the world and could reach as high as 24th should she go on to win the title. Should she win the US Open she will earn $2,500,000 in prize money which is more than eight times what than she has made in her entire career.

ATP

Alexander Zverev Pushed But Manages To Beat Isner As Europe Storms To Lead In Laver Cup

The German gave Team Europe a massive lead after winning a tight match.

Avatar

Published

on

image via https://twitter.com/LaverCup/

Alexander Zverev needed a trademark ” Laver Breaker” to beat the 6ft 10 Amercian John Isner 7-6, 6-7, 10-5 in two hours and 17 minutes on the saecond day of the Laver Cup.

 

The German hit 13 aces in the match, meanwhile Isner went 0 for 3 on breakpoints.

” I think in this format playing John (Isner) is one of the toughest opponents there can be and he is the best server of all time plus he was hitting the ball extremely hard and well today,” said Zverev.
To be honest I played a pretty good match,” he added.

In the first set, both players had zero issues holding serve. In the opening tiebreak it was extremely tight but the world number four managed to get the crucial break at 4-3 and that was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The second frame stayed on serve until 3-3 when the American had two chances to break but the Hamburg native managed to save both. In the following game he responded by earning three break points of his very own but Isner saved all three and held serve.

Isner had another chance at 5-5 but was unable to convert and again proceedings went into another tiebreaker to decide the second set. In that breaker, the world number 22 jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the German responded winning the next three points to make it 3-3.

After that, it stayed on serve until 7-6 and it was the American who managed to break Zverev to win the second set and force a match tiebreak to decide the match.

The first four points went on serve and it was the German who got the first break and jumped out to a 6-3 and that lead was enough for him to serve out the match and give Team Europe a 7-1 lead.

After the match in his on-court interview, Zverev spoke about the second set and the level both he and Isner was playing at.

” Even the second set that I lost I didn’t do many things wrong so it shows that the match was very high level and obviously happy to give Team Europe the lead”. He said.

Day 2 results :

In the first match of the day, the Aussie Nick Kyrgios faced Stefanos Tsitsipas and it was the world number three who took the match in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 26 minutes.

After the match, Krygios mentioned in his post-match press conference that the Laver Cup would be the last event he played in 2021, stating that his mother’s health is not doing well and he is planning to return to Australia to be with her.

In the night session Danil Medvedev, the current US Open champion, took on Denis Shapovalov and the Russian only needed one hour and 15 minutes to beat him 6-4, 6-0 to give Team Europe a 9-1 lead.

In the last match of the day, a doubles clash featuring Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev took on Isner and Krygios, and again it was the Europeans who managed to win 6-7, 6-3, 10-4.

Day 3 Preview :

On Sunday Team Europe will have a chance to clinch the trophy in their first match as they only need two more points and on Sunday a win is worth three. The day will start with a doubles match featuring Rublev and Zverev taking on Shapovalov and Rielly Opelka.

In singles, Zverev will face Felix Auger Aliassime, Medvedev will face Diego Schwartzman, and the last match scheduled is Isner vs Tsitsipas.

Continue Reading

Latest news

James Duckworth beats Ilya Ivashka to reach the final in Nur Sultan

Avatar

Published

on

James Duckworth has reached his first ATP Tour after his 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win over Ilya Ivashka after 2 hours and 2 minutes at the Astana Open in Nur Sultan. 

 

Duckworth converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3.

Ivashka broke serve in the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead. Duckworth broke straight back in the fifth game. Duckworth fended off two set points at 4-5 in the second set.  Ivashka saved two break points. Duckworth got two mini-breaks to earn three match points at 6-3. Ivashka pulled one of the two mini-breaks, but Duckworth sealed the tie-break 7-4 on his second match point. 

“I am really excited. I am thrilled. It was a really tough match. Ilya has been playing some great tennis. We have played twice already this year. Both times went to three sets”, said Duckworth. 

Ivashka won the title in Winston Salem and claimed 11 of his past 12 matches before today’s match against Duckworth. 

Duckworth set up a final against Sonwoo Kwon, who rallied from one set down to beat Alexander Bublik 3-6 7-5 6-3 after two hours and four minutes to advance to his first ATP Tour final. 

Bublik earned the first break of the match in the eighth game to win the first set 6-3. Kwon broke in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Bublik converted his sixth break-back point in the third game to hold serve. Kwon saved a break point in the ninth game before breaking serve in the 12th game to close out the second set 7-5. Kwon broke serve in the fourth game to win the third set 6-3. 

“It will be a tough match. Kwon is more of a baseliner. I will have to be ready. I am just going to recover the best I can and come out tomorrow and see what happens”, said Duckworth.

Continue Reading

Latest news

Maria Sakari reaches her first WTA Tour final since 2019 in Ostrava

Avatar

Published

on

Maria Sakkari has reached her first WTA Tour final since 2019 after nine consecutive tour-level semifinal defeats, by beating number 1 seed Iga Swiatek 6-4 7-5 after 1 hour and 51 minutes at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open. 

 

Sakkari won her only title on the clay court of Rabat. Swiatek had never lost a tour-level semifinal and had a win-loss record of 2-0 in her semifinals played in 2021. The Greek player lost to Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals in Ostrava last year. 

Sakkari has extended her win-loss record to 2-0 in her head-to-head matches against Swiatek. In their only previous match Sakkari beat Swiatek in the French Open quarter final last June ending the Pole’s Roland Garros title defense. 

Sakkari won 77% of her first service points and hit 22 winners to 19 unforced errors. 

Sakkari hit a forehand winner to earn her only break in the opening game of the first set. The Greek player did not face a single break point in the first set. 

Sakkari had to save a break point at the start of the second set before holding serve for 2-2. Sakkari earned the break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Swiatek broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. 

Sakkari converted her third break point with a forehand winner down the line to take a 6-5 lead and sealed the win on her first match point. 

Sakkari set up a final against Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit, who cruised past Petra Kvitova 6-0 6-4 after 1 hour and 11 minutes. The Estonian player scored her third top 10 win of the year after beating Sofia Kenin in Stuttgart and Bianca Andreescu in Eastbourne. She has reached her fourth final in 2021 after winning her second career title in Cleveland, finishing runner-up to Jelena Ostapenko in Eastbourne and sharing the Grampians Trophy with Ann Li after the final was not played due to a scheduling delay. 

Kontaveit hit 18 winners to just 7 unforced errors. Kvitova made 28 unforced errors to 11 winners. Kontaveit broke serve three times to take a bagel win in the first set, as Kvitova made 16 unforced errors to just 2 winners. 

Kvitova won her first game in the opening game of the second set. Kontaveit broke serve at love in the fifth game with a backhand winner to take a 3-2 lead.Kvitova saved a match point to hold serve to hold serve for 5-4 and hit a lob to earn her first break point of the match in the next game, as Kontaveit was serving for the win. Kontaveit saved it and closed out the match by forcing a final eror from Kvitova with a big backhand.  

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending