Emma Raducanu v Leylah Fernandez: Profile, head-to-head, past results and what’s been said ahead of US Open final


Emma Raducanu is one match away from making history as she prepares to take part in the US Open final this weekend.

The 18-year-old has burst onto the scene in 2021 having reached the fourth round at Wimbledon before defying all expectations at Flushing Meadows.

2021 has been a brilliant year for Emma Raducanu

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2021 has been a brilliant year for Emma Raducanu

After defeating Maria Sakkari in the semi-finals Raducanu will face Leylah Fernandez in the showpiece event on Saturday as the two teenagers compete for the Grand Slam title.

It’s set to be an eagerly-anticipated contest between two young stars that are set to be the future of women’s tennis, but how do the duo stack up? Here’s the tale of the tape ahead of the US Open final.

Emma Raducanu v Leylah Fernandez: Profile

Emma Raducanu

Age: 18

World ranking: 150

Previous grand slam best: Wimbledon fourth round, 2021

Raducanu was born Toronto, Canada to a Romanian father and a Chinese mother.

Since moving to England she has been a model student while playing tennis before turning professional in 2016.

Since then she has competed in the WTA Nottingham Open before reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon over the course of the summer before entering the qualifiers for the US Autumn.

Leylah Fernandez

Age: 19

World ranking: 73

Previous grand slam best: French Open third round, 2020

Fernandez was born in Montreal, Canada and has made a real impression since breaking into the professional game.

She won her first WTA Tour singles title at the 2021 Monterrey Open before securing a career-high world ranking of 66 over the summer.

Saturday’s showpiece event will be the 19-year-old’s maiden grand slam final.

Fernandez claimed a stunning victory in Arthur Ashe Stadium to tee up a final with Raducanu

AFP

Fernandez claimed a stunning victory in Arthur Ashe Stadium to tee up a final with Raducanu

Emma Raducanu v Leylah Fernandez: Route to US Open final

Emma Raducanu

First round: Stephanie Vogele – 6-2, 6-3

Second round: Zhang Shuai – 6-2, 6-4

Third round: Sarah Sorribes Tormo – 6-0, 6-1

Round of 16: Shelby Rogers – 6-2, 6-1

Quarter-finals: Belinda Bencic – 6-3, 6-4

Semi-finals: Maria Sakkari – 6-1, 6-4

Leylah Fernandez

First round: Ana Konjuh – 7-6, 6-2

Second round: Kaia Kenepi – 7-5, 7-5

Third round: Naomi Osaka – 5-7, 7-6, 6-4

Round of 16: Angelique Kerber – 4-6, 7-6, 6-2

Quarter-finals: Elina Svitolina – 6-3, 3-6, 7-6

Semi-finals: Aryna Sabalenka – 7-6, 4-6, 6-4

Raducanu is just 18 but will be playing in her first Grand Slam final

AFP

Raducanu is just 18 but will be playing in her first Grand Slam final

Emma Raducanu v Leylah Fernandez: Head-to-head

Emma Raducani wins: 1

Leyla Fernandez wins: 0

The US Open finalists have met once before as they competed in the second round of the Wimbledon Junior tournament in 2018 with Raducanu securing a 6-2, 6-4 win.

Raducanu is on the cusp of an incredible Grand Slam triumph

GETTY

Raducanu is on the cusp of an incredible Grand Slam triumph

Emma Raducanu v Leylah Fernandez: What’s been said?

Emma Raducanu: “I knew I had some sort of level inside of me that was similar to these girls, but I didn’t know if I was able to maintain it over a set or over two sets,” she said during her post-match press conference after knocking out Sakkari.

“To be able to do it and play the best players in the world and beat them, I honestly can’t believe it.

“It’s been extremely difficult because they always fight, they have so much experience which they use. I’m just so, so proud to have come through very tough moments in all of my matches”.

“I’m sure it’s going to be extremely different to when we last encountered each other.

“But we’re both playing good tennis so it will be a good match.”

Leylah 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.

“There’s no limit to what I can do. I’m just glad that right now everything’s going well.”

She added: “A lot of people doubted me, my family and my dreams.

“I remember one teacher, which was actually very funny – at the time it wasn’t, but now I’m laughing.

“She told me to stop playing tennis, you will never make it, and just focus on school.”

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