Emma Raducanu’s historic US Open semi-final win leaves tennis legends ‘dumbfounded after Brit’s ‘stunning’ performance

Emma Raducanu’s historic US Open semi-final win leaves tennis legends ‘dumbfounded after Brit’s ‘stunning’ performance

EMMA RADUCANU has become the first qualifier in history to reach a Grand Slam final – with legends of tennis being blown away by her achievements.

The 18 year old beat Greek world No18 Maria Sakkari 6-1 6-4 in the US Open semi-final to set up a meeting against fellow wonderkid Leylah Fernandez in Saturday’s showpiece.

Emma Raducanu is into the US Open final - the first British female to do that since 1977
Emma Raducanu is into the US Open final – the first British female to do that since 1977Credit: AP
The teenager put on a stunning display of tennis at Flushing Meadows
The teenager put on a stunning display of tennis at Flushing MeadowsCredit: AP

Raducanu is also the first British woman to reach the US Open final since 1977 – that year Virginia Wade won it.

With the ‘big one’ still to come at Flushing Meadows, Raducanu, who admitted afterwards that she ‘actually can’t believe it’, continues to draw the plaudits.

Former British No1 Tim Henman labelled her semi-final success as a ‘staggering performance’.

Speaking on Amazon Prime, he added: “If we just look at the way she came out and played, her quality of tennis from start to finish, she was so resilient. She never flinched.

“She never let up. It was relentless. And then you’ve got to throw in the scenario of being a qualifier, an 18-year-old, with all the legends who have ever played this game at Grand Slam level.

“She is the first person to qualify and reach the final. It’s simply stunning.

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“She deserves all the credit in the world. On the biggest stage in our sport at every opportunity she plays on her terms. It’s incredible to watch.

“She’ll need to enjoy this tonight and then get ready for Saturday.”

Henman’s Brit rival back in the day, Greg Rusedski was left ‘dumbfounded’ at what he had just witnessed.

He added “That performance was worthy of a world No 1, a US Open champion, a multiple Grand Slam champion.

“The composure, the belief, the handling of the big points. This is her first Grand Slam semi-final and it was like she was playing in the first round.

“It was astonishing.”

When you make history you do it at one level or two. Emma is doing it at so many levels

Martina Navratilova18-time Grand Slam winner

Laura Robson, who is battling to save her own tennis career after a hip operation, tweeted that it was ‘unbelievable’ before calling Raducanu an ‘absolute star‘.

Fellow Brit Anne Keothavong, who retired in 2013, admitted she was ‘shouting at the TV like a mad woman’ before telling Raducanu to ‘keep rocking it’ on Twitter.

And one of the greatest ever players Martina Navratilova, who won 18 Grand Slams, was delighted to see Raducanu ‘backing up’ the hype.

She added: “When you make history you do it at one level or two. Emma is doing it at so many levels.

“You can’t even think about the repercussions. We’ve been hyping her up but it’s happening. She’s backing it up.”

Judy Murray described her as the ‘teen queen’ for the ‘incredible achievement.

And former World No5 Jo Durie was purring at what she had watched, describing the 18 year old as ‘absolutely fantastic’.

Belgian former ladies’ World No1 Kim Clijsters described it as an ‘amazing performance’.

The wonderkid herself tweeted shortly after the match with a couple of pictures of elation, writing: “Pure happiness under the lights in New York.”

Tim Henman was left stunned at what he had witnessed with Raducanu
Tim Henman was left stunned at what he had witnessed with RaducanuCredit: Getty
Sakkari could not handle the consistency and talent from the other side of the net
Sakkari could not handle the consistency and talent from the other side of the net
Raducanu will face fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in the final
Raducanu will face fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in the final
Emma Raducanu – In profile

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John Hutchinson

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