20/04/2024

Leylah Fernandez joins Emma Raducanu in the women's singles final Photo: US Open - Twitter

Tennis fans have two very different singles finals in store for them at the US Open with teenage sensations blitzing in women's draw whilst the top two seeds emerge from the men's.

After two weeks the US Open now has its men’s and women’s singles finalists and they couldn’t be more different with two teenagers beating the best of the best in the women’s. While the top two made it through the men’s to finish the majors much like they started this year.

Osaka, Kerber, Svitolina and now Sabalenka – can Fernandez be stopped?

Photo: US Open – Twitter

Never one to do things the easy way, Leylah Fernandez had her work cut out for her when she took on second seed Aryna Sabalenka [2] in the women’s singles semi-final.

Sabakenka was off to a flying start only losing two points in the first three games, serving two aces and hitting seven winners early looking like the momentum from her stunning year to date could finally pay off.

The 19-year-old Canadian was able to fight her way back into the set winning his third service game in one minute and 21 seconds, serving three aces in the fast-paced game, with momentum behind her she managed to break back in the following game.

Both players managed to hold serve for the remainder of the set with Fernandez seeing off a break point opportunity for the Belarussian.

In her fifth tiebreak for the tournament, Fernandez hadn’t lost one to date and this match wasn’t going to be any different as he successfully took out the first set, restricting Sabalenka to just three points in the tiebreak.

Sabalenka didn’t waste any time in the second set, breaking Fernadez’s serve 40-0 in the first game, backing it up in the next game with a hold of serve.

The teenager didn’t stay down for long, holding serve and managing to break back in the fourth game of the set.

At 4-4 it was looking like the set could be headed to another tiebreak, with neither player giving up too much ground while serving, but the Belarussian managed to find a way to break Fernandez’s serve and breezed through her next service game to close out the set.

The third set started out as a tight affair between the two with both players holding serve, and despite Sabalenka challenging Fernandez’s serve she wasn’t able to convert.

Frustration started to build from Sabalenka with the teenager not going down quietly and after two break point opportunities, Fernandez was a break ahead for the first time in the match.

It didn’t last long with the world number two breaking back and holding her own serve.

However, Fernandez managed to already knock off two other players in the top five in three-set matches and she wasn’t going to be content falling right before the final hurdle and managed to break Sabalenka again in the final game of the match, capitalising off of the Belarussian’s two double faults.

Leylah Fernandez7[7]46
Aryna Sabalenka [2]6[3]64

Raducanu’s perfect run unharmed by Sakkari

Photo: US Open – Twitter

If Fernandez has had to go through the hardest route to the final then Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu had one of the easiest, benefiting from the favourable draw to reach the semi-finals without dropping a set.

Facing Greece’s Maria Sakkari [17], Raducanu had her biggest challenge of the US Open so far.

Raducanu looked to be in danger in the first game with Sakkari earning three break point opportunities, the 18-year-old remained composed and managed to hold serve.

Building off the momentum Raducanu managed to quickly break Sakkari’s serve and in another tight fight, she held her serve to have an early 3-0 lead.

By the fourth game, it was clear Sakkari had an issue, despite testing Raducanu’s serve she had a unique distraction. In the early games, her skirt was continually slipping and Sakkari eventually requested the chair umpire that she was able to switch it out in the middle of the set for the second she had in her bag.

The switch didn’t save her next service game with the Brit once again breaking and then holding her own serve.

https://twitter.com/usopen/status/1436158563081076760?s=20

Sakari did manage to win one game on serve for the set, but Raducan wasn’t about to give up the golden opportunity and took out the next game-winning the first set.

The seventeenth seed started the second set in a far better position than the first, blitzing her first game.

Raducanu was back on the offensive in no time at all winning the next three games to put herself ahead.

All she had to do now was hold her serve for the remainder of the set and she’d have her place booked in a grand slam final.

The 18-year-old stayed ahead and threatened to break Sakkari’s serve but failed to convert despite five break point opportunities in the seventh game. But all too soon it was 5-4 and Raducanu had the opportunity to serve out the match.

Despite losing the first point Raducanu didn’t give up any more ground in the final game closing out the match and making history as the first qualifier to make a Grand Slam final in the open era.

https://twitter.com/usopen/status/1436173700194131974?s=20
Emma Raducanu66
Maria Sakkari [17]14

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Medvedev reaches second Grand Slam final of 2021

Photo: Daniil Medvedev – Twitter

Prior to the semi-final Daniil Medvedev [2] only had one blemish on his record, the single set he lost in the quarter-final against Botic van de Zandschulp, and he wasn’t about to let the Canadian youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime [12].

It was an even fight, to start with both players holding serve without much trouble, but by the seventh game, Medvedev managed to break through, comfortably breaking Auger-Aliassime’s serve 40-0 before winning his next service game without giving up a point.

the 21-year-old Canadian bounced back in his next service game, serving three aces to keep himself in the set.

But Medvedev was able to serve out the set in the next game with ease marking the sixth time for the US Open 2021 that he’d won the first set.

Auger-Aliassime had a stronger start to the second set than the first despite being unable to create a break point opportunity in the first four service games.

However, the 21-year-old was the first to break in the second in the sixth game in the set, hitting three winners in the game.

Soon the Canadian was out to a 5-2 lead and was one away from winning the second set, but Medvedev quickly brought himself back into the set winning his next service game before breaking Auger-Aliassime’s serve to bring it back to 5-4.

Medvedev proceeded to win the next three games to make it five in a row and win the second set.

With momentum well and truly on his side now it only took three games for the Russian to break Auger-Aliassime’s serve.

Medvedev once again went on a five-game run, this time putting him one game away from his second Grand Slam Final of 2021.

Auger-Aliassime managed to hold Medvedev off for one more game but wasn’t able to stop the inevitable with the second seed closing out the match.

Felix Auger-Aliassime [12]452
Daniil Medvedev [2]676

Djokovic closes in on a calendar year Grand Slam

Photo: US Open – Twitter

Novak Djokovic [1] hasn’t had the easiest ride at the US Open this year, winning just one match in straight sets. The world number one entered the match two matches away from the first men’s singles calendar year Grand Slam since Rod Laver’s second in 1969.

His next obstacle was Germany’s Alexander Zverev [4] who won gold at the Tokyo Olympics in August of this year.

Much like the first men’s semi-final, the match started off with both players looking comfortable on serve, of the first eight games of the set there was only one break point opportunity for Zverev which Djokovic was easily able to see off.

It was the ninth game that Zverev was able to go up a break, finishing off Djokovic with ease and managed to win his next service game to win the first set. Marking this as the fourth consecutive match that the world number one has dropped the first set.

The German didn’t stay on top for very long with Djokovic winning the first three games of the second set.

Zverev was able to hold his serve in the next two service games but Djokovic had already shaken off his slow start and finished the second set off breaking the German’s serve for the second time in the set.

Both players had little trouble on serve for the majority of the third set with neither giving up much ground.

The world number one saved three break points in the fifth game and but it wasn’t until the final game of the set that he was finally able to wear Zverev down.

It was a tense final game of the set with no point in the game won in less than a 12 shot rally, but after winning a 53 shot rally it looked like Zverev might be able to hang on, only for a Djokovic forehand to seal the set.

The German went up a break early winning a nine-minute game, with Djokovic unable to stop the unrelenting 24-year-old.

Zverev carried that momentum throughout the rest of the set, rarely giving the world number one the room to potentially break back, however, he wasn’t able to advance his lead and had to settle for a 4-6 win in the set.

Both players had a lot on the line entering the fifth set, but with only one place in the US Open final, Djokovic was going to try and take control early.

Which is exactly what he did, winning the first five games and breaking Zverev’s serve with confidence.

The German did attempt to put up a fight winning his own service game to take the set to 5-1 and fighting to break back in the next game, taking the break at the third opportunity in another nine-minute game.

However, any confidence that was built from breaking the Serbian’s serve was quickly squashed as Djokovic broke again to close out the match.

The world number one is now one away from a calendar-year Grand Slam, after winning his second career Grand Slam at the French Open earlier this year and is in his sixth Grand Slam final in the past two years.

Novak Djokovic [1]46646
Alexander Zverev [4]62462

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