Raducanu, Fernandez in all-teen Open final

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Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernadez have set up an all-teenager US Open women's final for the record books after extending stunning and contrasting runs at Flushing Meadows.

England's 18-year-old Raducanu became the first player to come through qualifying and reach a grand slam final in the professional era when she beat No.7 seed Maria Sakkari 6-1 6-4 in their semi-final on Thursday.

She will come up against Canada's Fernandez, who turned 19 Monday and edged second seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4 in her semi to reach Saturday's title decider.

It will be the first major final between two teens since the 1999 U.S. Open, when Serena Williams, 17, defeated Martina Hingis, 18.

If Raducanu wins, she will be the youngest grand slam champion since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 at 17.

She is already the first British woman to reach a major final since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.

Two months after bursting onto the scene at Wimbledon ranked 361st in the world, a month after receiving her A level results, and 13 days after entering qualifying in New York, she stands on the brink of one of the most remarkable sporting achievements.

Just as remarkably, she has not lost a set since she began the qualifying tournament.

"Honestly the time here in New York has gone so fast," said Raducanu.

"I've just been taking care of each day and three weeks later I'm in final. I can't actually believe it."

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.

Fernandez will become the second 19-year-old Canadian to play in the women's final in Flushing Meadows in three years after Bianca Andreescu, who won the title in 2019.

She has taken a harder path to the final than Raducanu.

The win over Sabalenka was the 73rd-ranked Fernandez's fourth consecutive three-set victory over a seeded opponent. First came No. 3 Naomi Osaka, the 2018 and 2020 US Open champion. Then came No.16 Angelique Kerber, the 2016 champion. That was followed by No. 5 Elina Svitolina.

"My dad would tell me all the time, there's no limit to my potential to what I can do," said Fernandez.

"Nothing is impossible. There's no limit to what I can do."

It will be interesting to see who the crowd gets behind in the final as both have proven big fan favourites in New Yark.

Fernandez had the crowd firmly behind her once again against Sabalenka.

"I think I've been doing some incredible things," said Fernandez. "I'm just having fun, I'm trying to produce something for the crowd to enjoy. I'm glad that whatever I'm doing on court, the fans are loving it and I'm loving it, too. We'll say it's magical."

Raducanu and Fernandez met each other for the first time when they were both playing in under-12 tournaments. On Saturday, they will share a court for the first time in a tour-level match.

They did meet once before in the Wimbledon junior tournament's second round in 2018 and Raducanu won that one.

"They are both young. They play fearless," Sakkari said about Raducanu and Fernandez. "They have nothing to lose playing against us."

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