No. 17 seed Maria Sakkari will take on 18-year-old British qualifier Emma Raducanu in the semifinal of the 2021 US Open on Thursday, September 9. Get the live streaming options of this Maria Sakkari v Emma Raducanu match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Maria Sakkari v Emma Raducanu Head to Head
This will be a first meeting between the Greek, ranked No. 18 in the world, and the Briton, ranked No. 150th.
Sakkari Storms into Semis
A day after being involved in a U.S. Open epic, Maria Sakkari stormed into the semifinal with a straight sets win over fourth seed Karolina Pliskova on Wednesday.
The Greek dropped just eight points on her serve and didn’t face a single break point in the match as she dispatched the Czech 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 22 minutes. Dominating the contest from start to finish, Sakkari struck 23 winners and had 12 unforced errors compared to Pliskova’s 14 winners and 20 unforced errors.
On Monday, Sakkari had outlasted the sixth seed Bianca Andreescu in a three-hour-and-30-minute fourth round thriller which ended past 2 am on Tuesday. Sakkari rallied from a set down to beat the 2019 U.S. Open champion 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (8-6), 6-3.
The Greek’s journey to a second Grand Slam semifinal in her career, following her run to the final four at the French Open earlier this season, included three wins over top 10 seeds, with the first of them coming in the third round against Petra Kvitova. Sakkari didn’t drop her serve against the 10th seed Czech, clinching the third round match in straight sets.
The 26-year-old Greek didn’t break a sweat in the first two rounds either, defeating both Marta Kostyuk and Katerina Siniakova in straight sets.
Sakkari will be playing in a fifth semifinal this season, hoping to reach a first final in 2021. She was defeated by Aryna Sabalenka in Abu Dhabi, Annett Kontaveit at the Grampians Trophy, Andreescu in Miami and Barbora Krejcikova at Roland Garros in her four previous semifinals this year. Will she be fifth time lucky?
Raducanu Overpowers Bencic
Continuing her unbelievable run in the tournament, 18-year-old Emma Raducanu became the first qualifier in the professional era to reach the U.S. Open semifinal, breezing past 11th seed Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday.
Raducanu, who unfortunately retired from her fourth round clash at Wimbledon, has been tormenting her opponents in just her second major. Winning all three of her qualifiers in straight sets, the British teen hasn’t dropped a set in the main draw either.
Beginning with an opening round win over Stefanie Vögele, Raducanu defeated Zhang Shuai in the second round. She dropped just one game in a 6-0, 6-1 drubbing of Sara Sorribes Tormo in the third round and lost just three games against Shelby Rogers in the fourth round, defeating the American 6-2, 6-1.
On Wednesday, Raducanu hit 23 winners, four more than Bencic, and had nine fewer unforced errors than the Olympic gold medallist’s 21.
Broken in the very first game of the match, the Briton was under immediate pressure, but she eventually canceled out the break in the sixth game and surged ahead with another in the eighth, before serving out the first set by winning her fifth consecutive game.
She fended off three break points in a tight second game of the second set before breaking Bencic in the fifth game to take control of the set. The Swiss couldn’t find a way back into the contest and Raducanu kept the fairy tale going, becoming the fourth female qualifier to reach any Grand Slam semifinal and the first British woman to reach a U.S. Open semifinal since Jo Durie in 1983.
Sakkari v Raducanu Prediction and Tip
The two teens, Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez, have been the breakthrough stars of the tournament, but can they topple two more seeds to set-up a unbelievable final?
For Raducanu, who is playing in just her fourth tour-level main draw, it’s been an extraordinary journey so far, where she has outplayed each opponent in straight sets. But not being challenged in the tournament could actually be a disadvantage for the 18-year-old in the semifinal, as she comes up against the battle-hardened Sakkari, who can be a tough player to beat in gruelling three-setters.
The Greek being the more accomplished player will be the favourite to win the contest, however Raducanu will give it her all to pull off another upset. Expect this match to need three sets to decide the winner.