Emma Raducanu becomes first qualifier in HISTORY to reach a Grand Slam final

Emma Raducanu becomes first qualifier in HISTORY to reach a Grand Slam final
Emma Raducanu becomes first qualifier in HISTORY to reach a Grand Slam final

British teenage tennis sensation Emma Raducanu made history today by ruthlessly winning her US Open semi-final in straight sets, securing a place in her first major final and a cheque for a minimum of $1.25million (£900,000).

The 18-year-old from Kent is the first ever qualifier into a Grand Slam final after another performance of extraordinary poise saw her defeat seventeenth seed Maria Sakkari 6-1, 6-4 in just 84 minutes. 

Just a month after getting As and A*s in her A-levels from her grammar school in Orpington, Miss Raducanu will be one half of the first all-teenage championship match at a Major in 22 years when she meets world No 73 Leylah Fernandez, the 19 year-old Canadian.

Already the player who began Wimbledon ranked No 338 has earned a minimum $1.25million (£900,000) from the nine matches won here, and now comes the chance to bank a place in sporting history. Staggeringly, she has yet to drop a set.

She is the first British woman to reach the US Open final since Virginia Wade in 1968, and the youngest Slam finalist since Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004. 

Two months after bursting onto the scene at Wimbledon ranked 361st in the world and 13 days after entering qualifying in New York, the 18-year-old from Bromley stands on the brink of one of the most remarkable sporting achievements of all time.

Raducanu said on court after her victory: '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.

'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.' As for her chances in the final? 'Is there any expectation? I'm a qualifier so technically there's no pressure on me,' she added.

Emma Raducanu was left in a state of disbelief after she produced a stunning performance to reach the US Open final

Emma Raducanu was left in a state of disbelief after she produced a stunning performance to reach the US Open final

The new British No 1, when rankings update on Monday, dictated the entire match and needed just 84 minutes to claim victory

The new British No 1, when rankings update on Monday, dictated the entire match and needed just 84 minutes to claim victory

The new British No 1, when rankings update on Monday, dictated the entire match and needed just 84 minutes to claim victory

Emma got her A-level results a month ago, now she is in a US Open final - the first British female since 1968

Emma got her A-level results a month ago, now she is in a US Open final - the first British female since 1968

The 18-year-old wore a huge smile at the end as she now turns her attentions to Saturday's final against Leylah Fernandez

The 18-year-old wore a huge smile at the end as she now turns her attentions to Saturday's final against Leylah Fernandez

Emma drops her racket after defeating Maria Sakkari, of Greece, during the semifinals of the US Open tennis championships

Emma drops her racket after defeating Maria Sakkari, of Greece, during the semifinals of the US Open tennis championships

Miss Raducanu thanked the crowd for their support all the way through qualifying to the final of a grand slam

Miss Raducanu thanked the crowd for their support all the way through qualifying to the final of a grand slam

She posed for pictures as she left the Arthur Ashe stadium after one of the greatest wins for a female British tennis player in recent history

She posed for pictures as she left the Arthur Ashe stadium after one of the greatest wins for a female British tennis player in recent history

Emma is already a Vogue star (pictured), and will be picking up a cheque for a minimum of $1.25million dollars

Emma is already a Vogue star (pictured), and will be picking up a cheque for a minimum of $1.25million dollars

EMMA RADUCANU'S RUN TO THE US OPEN FINAL 

Q1: 6-1, 6-2 - beats Bibiane Schoofs - QUALIFYING

Q2: 6-3, 7-5 - beats Mariam Bolkvadze - QUALIFYING

Q3: 6-1, 6-4 - beats Mayar Sherif - QUALIFYING

R1: 6-2, 6-3 - beats Stefanie Vogele

R2: 6-2, 6-4 - beats Zhang Shuai

R3: 6-0, 6-1 - beats Sara Sorribes Tormo

R4: 6-2, 6-1 - beats Shelby Rogers

QF: 6-3, 6-4 - beats Belinda Bencic

SF: 6-1, 6-4 - beats Maria Sakkari

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Wade was in the Arthur Ashe Stadium to watch and so was Monica Seles. 

Raducanu's record at her first two Majors is now superior to both Seles and Jennifer Capriati.

Sakkari is a muscular athlete who has had a formidable season and made the semi-final of the French Open. 

Yet her game was reduced to rubble by the piercing returns of serve coming back at her and the relentless pressure applied to her weaker forehand side.

In truth the final scoreline was, if anything, generous to the more experienced player, and it could have been over even quicker.

'Honestly the time here has gone so fast, I've been taking care of each day and three weeks later I'm in the final, I can't believe it,' said Raducanu.

'You can't get ahead of yourself and just stay present. 

'Today I wasn't thinking about anyone else except for myself. 

'Since I've been here I've had great support. 

'Playing under the lights on Arthur Ashe Stadium is one of the most iconic things in tennis. I was so excited.

'Is there any expectation?' she asked jokingly. ' I'm a qualifier so there's no pressure on me!'

She now meets the wonderfully talented lefthanded ballstriker from Quebec, who took it to second seeded Aryna Sabalenka to win 7-6, 4-6, 6-4. 

It was desperately tight, and she was very much assisted at the end when

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