10 past 10 at night in New York, 10 past 3 in the morning back in the UK, Emma Raducanu took on Maria Sakkari for a place in the US Open Final.
A sentence I wouldn’t have even dreamt to have said a couple of weeks ago.
For the Greek it would be a second shot as making a major final this year, Maria had match point back in Paris against Barbora Krejcikova a few months back and well for Emma this is new territory but it has looked far from it.
It was the British teenager who got us underway and with a shaky start which would be expected in this situation. Emma offered up three break points in the first game and Sakkari couldn’t covert, it went onto become a theme early on in the match. This time down 0-40 but seven break points were saved in two service games to take a 3-0 lead.
The one way traffic on Arthur Ashe continued for Emma who was hitting the ball superbly well and really unsettling her opponent. Sakkari was rattled, she went off court after 16 minutes for a quick costume change and her forehand was too erratic, there was a panic in the 26 year olds performance.
The domination continued, a bagel was averted as Sakkari held for the first time in the match but it was an easy close to the opening set in 36 minutes with Emma Raducanu leading by six games to one.
Could Maria Sakkari turn it around?
As opening games go it was a strong start from Sakkari but the errors started to leak into her game once more being put under pressure by Emma’s ground strokes who at the change of ends had a spring in her step and up and set and a break!
It became slightly desperate from the Greek down 1-6 1-3 15-40 and pretty much serving to keep her US Open dream alive after 58 minutes.
A very big hold from Sakkari, could she stop the dominance of the British teenager?
Well well well… the fight went on and this time from 0-40 down the Greek held to keep herself in touching distance of Raducanu who was still up a break in the second set.
Emma continued to hold nerve on serve and at 6-1 5-3 would see the Greek serve to stay in the match!
After one hour and twenty two minutes Emma served for it and served it out!
The first qualifier in the history of tennis to make a Grand Slam final!