In a dream match up made for television, two unranked Asian teen players will meet in the US Open Finals on Saturday, reports CNN.
It will be the first match up between two teens in a major’s final since the 1999 US Open when Serena Williams defeated Martina Hingis.
“It’s magical,” Leylah Fernandez said, according to ESPN. The Canadian player with a Filipina mother had collapsed on the court with hands covering her face after defeating the number two ranked Aryna Sabalenka 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.
Just a couple of hours later, Emma Raducanu eliminated 18th ranked Maria Sakkari 6-1, 6-4 to complete the finals pairing. She threw her racket in the air and put her hands on top of her head in celebration.
“Honestly, I can’t believe it,” said Britain’s Raducanu whose mother is Chinese. The Bleacher Report described her story as a “fairy tale.” She’s the first player to have to get through the qualifying round to even compete in the tournament and then get into the Open finals.
Raducanu has not even lost a set in six straight matches and dominated a pair of seeded opponents in the last two rounds- Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic and now Sakkari.
“It means a lot to be here in this situation. I wanted obviously to be playing Grand Slams, but I didn’t know how soon that would be. To be in a Grand Slam final at this stage of my career, I have no words,” she said to CNN.
For Fernandez, the significance of her accomplishment is not lost on her.
“I’m so happy to hear that everyone in the Philippines is cheering for me and supporting me. So thank you,” she said while looking forward to her grandfather’s Filipino cooking.
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