This will be the first major final between two teenagers since 17-year-old Serena Williams defeated 18-year-old Martina Hingis way back in 1999 at the US Open. Tomorrow Emma Raducanu, an unseeded 18 year old from Great Britain who won three qualifying matches to get into the main draw will play also unseeded 19 year old Leylah Fernandez from Canada who has taken out Osaka, Kerber, Svitolina and Sabalenka to get this far. Before the tournament Raducanu was 100/1 to win the tournament, Fernandez 200/1, if anybody had those bets I salute your physic ability.
Why Raducanu will win
To say she is running hot is an understatement; the teenager hasn’t lost a set the whole tournament, including the three matches in qualies. That’s 18 sets in a row and in the main draw no opponent has gotten five games in any set, her confidence level hasn’t just gone through the roof, it must be somewhere up in the stratosphere with the Russian spy satellites. With the sublime clean hitting she’s displayed to get this far if this level doesn’t drop there will be nothing Fernandez can do.
Why Fernandez will win
She is an old head on young shoulders, which in the pressure cooker of a Grand Slam final this maturity level beyond her years will come in handy. She also has displayed wonderful shot selection and with a close match expected the Canadian has already played four tight matches in a row that’s gone the distance which will help deep into a third set and being a lefty is always tricky for any opponent.
There is a sense of destiny for Fernandez, beating four world-class players, two of them slam champions in Kerber and Osaka but then again maybe the run is too good to be true and you can only dodge defeat for so long. The wildcard in all this may be that the moment gets to Raducanu, remember at Wimbledon in the 4thround in front of a home crowd she had to retire with ‘breathing difficulties’ that were never fully explained, but on the flip side of that in New York there is no hometown expectation, especially since Fernandez seems to have been the crowd favorite in all her matches.
This is a tough one to pick; they’ve never played as pros and for any unseeded teenager to get this far is unheard of, never mind two of them. I’m going with Fernandez, her calmness under pressure and awkward lefty shots will bring Canada a grand slam title, pass the maple syrup.