Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu has reached the US Open final after a stunning, one-sided victory over Maria Sakkari.
The 18-year-old from Bromley, south London, in the process made history as the first qualifier – male or female – ever to reach the final of a singles Grand Slam tournament.
And her run is even more astonishing since she is yet to drop a set on her way to the title match against another teenager, Leylah Fernandez of Canada.
Raducanu was ranked 361st in the world when she burst on to the scene at Wimbledon earlier this summer – a month after receiving her A level results.
The teenager fought through three qualifying matches to make the main draw at the US Open, which is only her second major tournament.
Her straight sets win over 17th seed Sakkari – 6-1, 6-4 – took less than 90 minutes. The final takes place on Saturday.
Tearing up the record books, Raducanu is also now the first British woman to reach a major final since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.
She is one match away from becoming the first British female winner in the US since Wade in 1968.
Raducanu said on court: “Honestly the time here in New York has gone so fast. I’ve just been taking care of each day and three weeks later I’m in final. I can’t actually believe it.
“Today I wasn’t thinking about anyone else except for myself. While I have the moment I want to thank my team and the LTA and everyone at home for all their support.
“Since I’ve been here from the first round of the quallies I’ve had unbelievable support.”
As for her chances in the final? “Is there any expectation? I’m a qualifier so technically there’s no pressure on me,” she added.
Striding into the vast Arthur Ashe Stadium looking for all the world as if she was about to knock up at Bromley Tennis Centre, Raducanu took immediate control of the biggest match of her short career.
She saved seven break points in her first two service games while breaking 26-year-old Sakkari to 15 to secure a 3-0 lead.
A change of skirt for Sakkari did not have the desired effect as she dropped serve again, and in the blink of an eye the first set had run away from the world number 18.
An early break in the second kept Sakkari at bay and only an extraordinary rally at break point prevented Raducanu from taking a 5-2 lead.
No matter. Two service holds and a delicious volley on match point later and Raducanu had completed the latest stride in her improbable march towards sporting immortality.