US Open Women’s Final Predictions: Leylah Fernandez vs Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu US Open semifinals
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We have reached the women’s final of the US Open, and no one expected this one. Emma Raducanu blasted her way to the final, becoming the first qualifier ever (man or woman) to reach a Grand Slam final. Leylah Fernandez, meanwhile, looks unstoppable with her brilliant counterpunching. Who do you think will win this battle of teenagers–neither of whom was even born the last time we saw a US Open without Serena Williams, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal? Our writers share their thoughts on the match. Predicting this match are Jim Smith, Andrew Watson, Fraser Learmonth, Damian Kust, and David Gertler.

US Open Women’s Final Predictions

Leylah Fernandez vs Emma Raducanu

Jim:

The women’s game has long been unpredictable, but even so it is hard to fathom how we have ended up here. But both Fernandez and Raducanu have more than earned their shot at Grand Slam glory and an excellent final should be in store. It is hard to know which player will prove better equipped to deal with the pressure, but the manner of Raducanu’s victories suggest that she will take some stopping. If the Briton can with the same freedom she has so far in New York, expect her to end the tournament holding the trophy aloft.
Prediction: Raducanu in 3

Andrew:

No longer will the teen be out to topple an older, more experienced opponent. Now it is like against like, upstart vs upstart, and the mentality of that is going to be fascinating. Fernandez, as the (slightly) older and more experienced player may well feel a touch more pressure. With Raducanu already breezily answering Rennae Stubbs’ question about expectation by saying “Is there any?”, I don’t think the Brit will overly suffer with nerves ahead of the biggest match of her life.

Fernandez is the better mover of the two, but Raducanu probably has more power and a greater depth of shot. Raducanu hasn’t lost a set whereas Fernandez has gone three regularly, but looking at who they have played it is clear that Fernandez has had the harder run. It is hard to go against Raducanu because of her constant domination of all of her opponents. I will back her to take the title.
Prediction: Raducanu in 2

Fraser:

The 2021 US Open final is set and it smells like teen spirit. Both of these two young stars have shown that trait in abundance so far in New York. They have played exceptional tennis at times, but throughout the entire tournament what has stood out most is their fight and desire in every match they have played. Raducanu is yet to drop a set in Flushing Meadows, which is mightily impressive considering she had to qualify for the main draw as well. By contrast, Fernandez has been pushed the distance in each of her last four matches. However, three of those matches were against Top 10 players, and the fourth was against a three-time Grand Slam champion. The Canadian has played and beaten bigger names than the Brit and I think that will be a telling factor here. Raducanu has a big game and is a smart player, but Fernandez has face some of the biggest and best games in women’s tennis this year and come out on top. Both of their runs have been truly sensational, but I suspect the superb angles and court craft of Fernandez will lead her to her maiden Grand Slam come Saturday.
Prediction: Fernandez in 3

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Damian:

A Grand Slam final between two youngsters will be really dependent on how they manage to handle it mentally. Raducanu’s big advantage is her shorter and less taxing path to the finals (even though she came from the qualifying draw). The Brit has barely been losing games recently. It’s a huge contrast between her and Fernandez, who had a much tougher time dispatching her opposition. Fatigue might catch up to the Canadian if it goes the distance. Raducanu is also the player with easier power, which could benefit her a lot in a matchup between two players with extremely high tennis IQ.
Prediction: Raducanu in 2

David:

This battle-of-the-teenagers should be epic! 18-year-old Emma Raducanu has tore through both the qualifying draw and the main draw, winning all 18 sets she’s played. Against Maria Sakkari in the semifinals, she won 71% of her service points, wasn’t broken, and held Sakkari to 34% of her service points won. The consistent depth and controlled aggression she’s showcasing is remarkable. 19 year-old Leylah Fernandez is also having a remarkable run, winning her last four matches in three sets to reach the final. In the semifinals against Aryna Sabalenka, Fernandez held Sabalenka to 40% second serves won and was very clutch in the crucial moments of the match.

This will be a tight match and nerves could be a factor. Fernandez’s lefty forehand has been dominant, but I think her backhand is the weakest groundstroke on the court. Raducanu’s ball-striking has been incredible and it’s hard for me to see her losing this match.
Prediction: Raducanu in 3

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