- Teenagers are stealing the show at the US Open.
- On Sunday, Leylah Fernandez and Carlos Alcaraz reached the quarterfinals.
- Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu, 18, can do the same with victory over Shelby Rodgers on Monday.
There may be no Williams sisters, Novak Djokovic, or Rafael Nadal at this year’s US Open.
Fortunately, however, in the absence of tennis’ biggest stars, it is a trio of teenage sensations who have risen to steal the show.
On Sunday, Canadian Leylah Fernandez and Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz both made it to the quarterfinals of their respective draws with stunning wins over Angelique Kerber and Peter Gojowczyk.
Fernandez, on the eve of her 19th birthday, came from behind to beat 2016 champion Kerber 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.
Alcaraz, 18, edged a thrilling five set affair 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0 to become the youngest player in the Open era to reach the US Open men’s last eight.
“I have been working hard since the day I started playing tennis and the day I set my mind to being a professional,” said Fernandez, who received a standing ovation from the crowd at the Louis Armstrong Stadium after her victory.
“I expected that one day my tennis game is going to come through and that I’m going to be on the big stage in front of a big crowd and getting the wins.”
Alcaraz described his win as a “dream come true.”
“I’m super excited to be in my first second week in the Grand Slam, so it’s amazing for me,” he said. “I didn’t expect to play quarter-finals here. So I think it’s a really good performance from me in these matches.”
Fernandez plays world No.5 Elina Svitolina for a place in the semifinals on Tuesday, when Alcaraz also takes on Felix Auger-Aliassime.
—US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 6, 2021
Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu can join her fellow teens in the quarterfinals with victory over American Shelby Rodgers on Monday.
The 18-year-old has thus far enjoyed a blistering run to the fourth round having not dropped a set in all three of her matches.
She also won all three of her qualifying matches for the tournament in straight sets.
Against Sara Sorribes Tormo in the third round, Raducanu, who is playing in her first-ever overseas Grand Slam, stormed to an emphatic 6-0, 6-1 win that took just one hour and nine minutes.
“My game is just getting better with each match,” she said, after booking her spot in the fourth round.
“I was playing very well and I know Sara is a tough opponent so I had to be on my game and worked so hard. I’m happy I maintained and stayed consistent.”
—Emma Raducanu (@EmmaRaducanu) September 4, 2021
Three months ago, Raducanu was ranked 361 in the world.
A stunning run at Wimbledon that saw her reach the fourth round, on top of her exploits at Flushing Meadows, now means she is on the verge of climbing into the world’s top 100.