Nadal, Williams, Raducanu: Top 10 tennis teenagers based on Grand Slam performances

Rafael Nadal, Emma Raducanu, Martina Hingis

This year’s US Open Women’s Singles final will be an all teenage match up as Britain’s Emma Raducanu takes on Canada’s Leylah Fernandez.

Raducanu is just 18-years-old and is the only qualifier in history to reach the final of a Grand Slam. Fernandez, meanwhile, has defeated the likes of Naomi Osaka, Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka on course to this stage.

Both players are aiming to follow in the footsteps of recent teenage winners, such as Iga Świątek, who won last year’s French Open and 2019 US Open champion, Bianca Andreescu.

Tennis has had a number of teenage superstars over the years though, many of whom have gone on to become all-time greats.

With that in mind, here is our list of the top 10 teenage tennis youngsters based on their efforts in major tournaments:

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Emma Raducanu

Of course, Raducanu is still one game away from an unprecedented major victory, but a win would seal one of the most outstanding Grand Slam successes of the Open Era.

So far, the teenager has won nine consecutive games at Flushing Meadows, including qualifying, and is still yet to drop a set.

The 18-year-old would become the first female British Slam winner since Virginia Wade at Wimbledon in 1977.

Emma Raducanu

Rafael Nadal

Nadal has won 20 Grand Slams in total –– the joint-most of any man, alongside Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

His first came at Roland-Garros in 2005, aged just 19 years and three days. The Spaniard won an enthralling contest against Federer in the semis, before defeating Argentina’s Mariano Puerta in the final.

Regarded as the “King of Clay”, Nadal has now won 13 French Opens and could well add to that, even at 35 years of age.

Nadal

Martina Hingis

Hingis won the 1997 Australian Open aged just 16 years and 117 days, making her the youngest ever female major winner in Open Era history.

What’s more, the Swiss star became the undisputed world number one that same year, having reached all four Grand Slam finals and winning three of them.

Hingis would go on to win five Slam titles in all, but may well have won more had injuries not blighted her career.


Björn Borg

The Swedish star was a teenage sensation and helped propel the rising popularity of tennis during the 1970s.

His first major title came when he was 18 years and 10 days at the 1974 French Open, where he defeated Spain’s Manuel Orantes in five sets.

Overall, Borg won 11 Grand Slams, but never the Australian or US Open.


Serena Williams

Widely regarded as one of the greatest female tennis players ever, Williams’ first Slam victory came in the last all teenage major final against Hingis at the 1999 US Open.

The 39-year-old remains in search of a record-equalling 24th major title but is currently recovering from injury.

Serena Williams

Boris Becker

Becker is the youngest male Wimbledon winner of all time, claiming the title as a 17-year-old in 1985.

The win also made him the first unseeded player to claim a Wimbledon Men’s Singles title.

Having won three titles at the All England Club in total, the German finished his career with six major wins overall.


Tracy Austin

American star Austin upset world number one Chris Evert in the 1979 US Open final, when she was just 16-years-old.

Just two years later, Austin did the same to tennis icon Martina Navratilova, but would never make another final.

Nonetheless, the US star became the youngest inductee into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, aged 29.


Michael Chang

Chang now coaches Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori, but he is best remembered for winning the 1989 French Open final against Ivan Lendl as a 17-year-old.

During this run, Chang also beat Francisco Roig and Pete Sampras, dropping just one set in the process.

To this day, he is the youngest male Slam winner in history, though he never won another major title again.


Maria Sharapova

Sharapova’s remarkable victory over Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2004, catapulted her into the limelight at just 17.

The Russian is one of the few players to even win a career Grand Slam and finished her career with five major titles.

Having lost three finals to Williams in total, Sharapova is unfortunate not to have won more Slams overall.

Sharapova

Monica Seles

A nine-time Slam winner, Seles won her first major title in 1990, when she defeated Steffi Graf at the French Open.

Seles won eight majors before her 20th birthday, making her easily the most successful tennis teenager ever.

In truth, Seles would likely have won many more Grand Slams had she not been victim to a horrific on-court knife attack in 1993, which kept her out of the game for over two years.

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