Emma Raducanu has become the first qualifier in history to reach the final of a major tournament after beating Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the US Open semis.
The 18-year-old won 6-1 6-4 to set up a meeting with fellow youngster Leylah Fernandez, who beat second seed Aryna Sabalenka in a thrilling three-setter.
The Brit one again showed her composure and maturity on the court but was equally as unflustered off it as well. Her often hilarious post-match interviews are always conducted with a beaming smile and this latest one was no different.
As Raducanu stood in front of the adoring Arthur Ashe crowd, reporter Rennae Stubs asked the teenager how she’d cope with the expectation of playing in front of a sold-out stadium in a Grand Slam final.
The 18-year-old’s response exemplified that she is not letting the big occasion get the better of her and is continuing to play with freedom.
“I mean is there any expectation? I’m a qualifier so technically on paper there’s no pressure on me,” she joked.
Raducanu also took the time to praise her coaches and all those who have helped her get to this point.
“While I have the moment I really want to thank my team and the LTA and everyone back home for all of their help and all of their support over the years. I wouldn’t be here without it.”
Though she has achieved history at Flushing Meadow, the teenager remains remarkably humble and admitted she had no idea of the scale of her achievement.
“I had no idea of this record,” Raducanu told BBC 5 Live. “It obviously means a lot to be the first in the final for so long.”
The Brit will face a familiar figure in Fernandez on Saturday –– a player she knows very well. The Canadian is just a few months older than Raducanu, having turned 19 on Monday, and the pair regularly met in junior competitions when they were younger.
“We go back a long way,” Raducanu said. “I remember speaking to her in Under-12 Orange Bowl. We played each other at junior Wimbledon. We’ve both come so far since we last played each other. I’m excited to see what sort of match-up it will be.”
The US Open is available to watch live exclusively on Amazon Prime Video from Monday 30th August through to Sunday 12 September.