Two teenagers make history with first women’s Open final

Emma Raducanu, an 18-year-old from Florida who is ranked 39th in the world, and former world junior number one Leylah Fernandez, who is currently 17th, will meet in a final of the US Open on Sunday. It will be the first time that two teenagers have ever made it to a women’s final in the Open era, as I write this.

Both have come through several very long matches and both are on an amazing run. As Raducanu has alluded to in interviews, she has put in a lot of work on her putting, while Fernandez has battled the heat and injuries in her comeback.

They both make enormous progress for women’s tennis. Fernandez is the fastest-improving player since the Open era began: she has won 50 per cent more matches than the next-best teenage player, Laura Siegemund.

They may be making history for different reasons – though both had their growing pains – but they represent the future of the game.

The women’s game continues to be dominated by Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, and, while they are the greatest players in the world, they are approaching the end of their careers. The Grand Slams now are won by fewer players, a trend that seems likely to continue.

Fernandez and Raducanu are set to take over the game. They are the real deal. And they are about to make history.

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