The new age of tennis is here – at least on the women’s side – and the U.S. Open final is proof that the future is looking very bright. Leylah Fernandez’s remarkable run continues, but hers is not the only impressive story. On the other side of the net will be another young rising talent: Brit Emma Raducanu. Both came into the tournament unseeded. Now, they’re facing each other in the final.
This unseeded matchup is the first time it’s happened in the Open Era.
Plus, the fact that the two athletes are teenagers means another historic mark. Not since 1999 – before Fernandez and Raducanu were even born – has a Grand Slam final featured two teenagers. In 1999, Serena Williams and Martina Hingis faced each other as teens in the U.S. Open final. If the careers of those two famous players would go on to have are any indication, we’ll be seeing a lot more from both Fernandez and Raducanu in the future.
But the representation that they’re bringing to the court is also one worth noting as we look to the future of a sport that has, for so long, featured the same kinds of faces. As previously reported by Remezcla, Fernandez has an Ecuadorian father and a Canadian mother of Filipino descent. Raducanu, also born in Canada before her family settled in London, has a Romanian father and a Chinese mother.
The multiculturalism of this matchup isn’t the only thing captivating audiences, as both teenagers have been playing exceptional tennis. Fernandez beat ranked player after ranked player to make it to the last game, and Raducanu becoming the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam final in 44 years.
This highly-anticipated matchup can be seen tomorrow, Saturday, September 11th, at 4:20 PM ET on ESPN.