Emma Raducanu has stunned herself and the sporting world at large en route to the US Open final.
The British teenager was a virtual unknown as recently as two months ago when she shot to prominence at Wimbledon, reaching the second week after a series of eye-catching displays.
Raducanu arrived in New York a fortnight ago having to pre-qualify for the main draw and, after sailing serenely through her three matches, has continued her rapid rise, culminating in last night’s stunning semi-final victory over Maria Sakkari.
Reacting to her victory, Raducanu said: ‘Honestly today I wasn’t thinking about anyone else except for myself.
‘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.
‘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.’
While Raducanu might have held modest expectations upon embarking on her incredible New York adventure, ultimately she has smashed a number of records en route to the final…
US Open | The records Emma Raducanu has broken
- First qualifier to reach a Grand Slam final
- Youngest British Grand Slam finalist in 62 years
- First British woman to reach a Grand Slam final in 44 years
- First British woman to reach a US Open final in 53 years
- 0 – the number of sets Raducanu has dropped in the US Open
- 119 – the places she has jumped in the world rankings in the past fortnight, from No 150 to No 31
Virginia Wade, Britain’s last female grand slam winner at Wimbledon in 1977, meanwhile, described Raducanu as the ‘real thing’ after her latest straight sets demolition job.
Wade told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘I can’t tell you how exciting it is. We’ve been waiting such a long time for a British player on the women’s side to really come through.
‘Every time you watch her you think she’s going to win every point out there. You don’t even get that nervous. It was remarkable.
‘I’m sure she is the real thing, you don’t get someone head and shoulders above that often and I think she’s one of those. She’s stopping all her opponents in their tracks and she’s got an incredible future ahead of her.
‘If it doesn’t happen on Saturday (win a grand slam) it’s going to happen sooner or later because she is really good.’
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