The women’s US Open final will be contested by two teenagers for the first time since 1999 after Briton Emma Raducanu and Canadian Leylah Fernandez both shocked more experienced players in the semifinals on Friday.
Raducanu, 18, extended her dream run at Flushing Meadows with a 6-1 6-4 victory over Greek 17th seed Maria Sakkari.
She is the first qualifier to reach a Grand Slam final and the first British woman since Virginia Wade in a major singles final in 44 years.
“The time in New York has gone so quickly, I’ve been taking care of each day and three weeks later I’m in the final. I actually can’t believe it,” Raducanu said.
After coming through three qualifying matches to reach the main draw, she has not dropped a set in any of her nine matches at Flushing Meadows.
It is only Raducanu’s second Grand Slam tournament and the fourth tour-level event of her career.
This win puts her on the verge of the top 30 after already being assured of becoming the British women’s number one by reaching the last four at Flushing Meadows.
Earlier in Thursday’s night session, Fernandez sealed her place in the final by shocking Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka.
Unseeded Fernandez, who turned 19 on Monday, won 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4 to edge a tense semi-final.
Raducanu’s victory then set up the eighth Grand Slam final in the Open Era between teenagers.
Fernandez, ranked 73rd, had already beaten defending champion Naomi Osaka and fifth seed Elina Svitolina.
Asked how she managed to win, Fernandez laughed: “I have no idea! I’d say because of the New York crowd.
“They have helped me and cheered for me and never gave up for me, they fought for me. Thanks to them I was able to win.”