Teen dream: Raducanu, 18, Fernandez, 19, into US Open final

The 2021 US Open women's champion will be either teenager Emma Raducanu or teenager Leylah Fernandez. The unheralded players have delighted fans on their way to Saturday's final.



September 10, 2021 - 1:06 PM

Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada celebrates winning match point to defeat Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus during the semifinals of the U.S. Open Thursday. Photo by Sarah Stier / Getty Images / TNS

NEW YORK (AP) — Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez are so similar in so many ways: They possess enviable quickness and anticipation. They take balls low to the ground and redirect them with ease. They don’t care how much better-known or more successful opponents are. They love the big moment. 

There’s more. They’re both teenagers. They’re both unseeded at the U.S. Open. They’re both getting loud backing from the crowds. And now, remarkably, they’re both Grand Slam finalists.

Raducanu, an 18-year-old from Britain who is ranked 150th, and Fernandez, a 19-year-old from Canada who is ranked 73rd, took wildly different paths to the championship match at Flushing Meadows on Thursday night. They’ll be back in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday for the first major final between two teens since the 1999 U.S. Open, when Serena Williams, 17, defeated Martina Hingis, 18.

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