British teenager Emma Raducanu is now one step from the ultimate achievement in her sport.
The 18-year-old outclassed Maria Sakkari, the Greek 17th seed, 6-1, 6-4 in the US Open semi-final to become the first qualifier, man or woman, to reach a grand slam final in the Open era.
She is also the first British woman to reach a grand slam final since Virginia Wade’s triumph at Wimbledon in 1977.
When asked to describe her run to the championship match after only making her major debut earlier this year at Wimbledon, Raducanu said she was still coming to terms with her fairytale run: “A surprise. Honestly I just can’t believe it. A shock. Crazy. All of the above.”
“Is there any expectation? I’m a qualifier so technically, on paper, there’s nothing. No pressure on me,” said Raducanu on court after her victory.
She will face another teenager, 19 year-old Leylah Annie Fernandez in the US Open final this weekend, after the Canadian extended her own astonishing run after previously upsetting both Naomi Osaka, the defending champion, and former champion Angelique Kerber.
With her victory, Fernandez became the youngest woman to reach a grand slam final since Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004. Less than two hours later, Raducanu took the record for herself.