Don’t feel bad if your US Open outright ticket was missing Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez. According to William Hill Sportsbook, a bet on these two incredible teenagers to reach the final would have paid out nearly 5000 to 1.

Advertising

Both Raducanu and Fernandez’s paths to the final have been equally impressive. With her 6-1, 6-4, win over Maria Sakkari on Thursday night, Raducanu became the first qualifier in the open era to reach a major final. The Brit hasn’t even been pushed to a tiebreak in her 18 consecutive sets won. This US Open has taught us to expect the unexpected, but when a tennis player gets this hot, they aren’t likely to lose.

Meanwhile, the Canadian scored her fourth straight Top 20 victory in her 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4, victory over Aryna Sabalenka. Her consistency and compact strokes caused plenty over problems for the error-prone Sabalenka.

Take nothing away from either young star, but the performances from the more experienced “veterans” on Thursday night was disappointing, to say the least. Neither Sabalenka nor Sakkari adjusted their tactics throughout the match, over-hitting their way out of Arthur Ashe stadium and their first major final appearance.

According to the oddsmakers, the Brit is listed as a -170 favorite and projected to win by 3 total games. It’s difficult to bet the late stages of a major, as the oddsmakers have had ample time to crunch the numbers and analyze the matchup. But none of that matters, as this match will come down to who can better control their nerves.

Raducanu has been decimating opponents with what might be the most simple pattern in tennis; first-serve out-wide, first-ball to the open court.

Advertising

She’s also been unfathomably clutch. Had Sakkari converted one of her seven break points in the first three games, the match could have played out much differently.

As incredible as Fernandez’s run has been, she has shown momentary lapses in her level. Raducanu has not. If you choose to bet on this match between teenage first-time finalists, please make sure it’s a small amount. That said, I will be expecting another dominant performance from Raducanu, who has been completely unplayable all tournament long.

The Pick: Raducanu -3 games