17-year-old Emma Raducanu to play U.S. Open finals

Written by Staff Writer by Beth Pinsker, CNN

The US Open , held this year in New York, is a triumph of youth, community and mentorship.

At 17, Emma Raducanu is the youngest player ever to make the finals at the US Open, in the ladies singles competition. She will face 18-year-old Leylah Fernandez, also from the Philippines, on Sunday.

Raducanu first visited New York in seventh grade and fell in love with the city.

“I have a huge passion for the outdoors, which is why I like going on hike[s],” she said in an email to CNN. “I love getting outside and exploring, as I feel the whole world should be a part of it.”

Raducanu has already been making news for her career. The first young American girl to make the semifinals of the US Open, she has been lauded for her grace on the court and humble demeanor off it.

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Growing up, Raducanu didn’t practice tennis at all. She said she and her brother would carry on with their normal lives while she slaved away at her racket.

“Since I was so young, my parents didn’t really push me to play tennis at all, so I never really had a goal in mind of, ‘I’m going to be the best tennis player in the world someday,'” she said.

Since her pro debut at age 14, Raducanu has seen tremendous success in her sport.

“This is my first Grand Slam final,” she said. “I’m sure I will cry again, like I normally do after each round, but this one is a little different, and I’m sure everyone else around me will be too.”

Fernandez, also a tennis prodigy, is making history of her own. At 18, she is the youngest player ever to reach the finals at the US Open.

She is also the first Filipina woman to reach the finals of the championship in women’s singles.

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