TennisSection previews the 2021 US Open as Maria Sakkari (17) takes on Emma Raducanu (Q) in the Semi-Finals on Thursday, September 9th, 2021.
Will we see one of the best stories of all time from a young qualifier, in Emma Raducanu, as she aims to make her way all the way to her maiden Grand Slam Final at 18 years old? Will Maria Sakkari show us that all her hard work has been building up to this, after her incredible year on the WTA Tour? Both players have been superb for the last 2 weeks, but only one will make their way to the Final of the 2021 US Open. Who will it be?
Emma Raducanu dominated in her matchup against the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Gold Medalist, Belinda Bencic, showing us that she is the real deal by winning in straight sets 6-3/6-4. Emma was great under pressure, not being afraid to play her best and go for her shots when her back was against the wall, and this allowed her to really chip away at the sub-par performance from Belinda. Emma is making history, being the first qualifier in the Women’s side to make it this far in New York. Emma knows she has been great, but she also knows her biggest challenge is yet to come as she now meets Maria Sakkari here at the 2021 US Open.
Maria Sakkari dominated against the former US Open Finalist, and 2021 Wimbledon Finalist, Karolina Pliskova, beating the Czech in straight sets 6-4/6-4. Maria is so deserving of a spot in the Final as all of 2021 she has played incredibly well, reaching the Semi-Finals at the French Open, beating Naomi Osaka in Miami, and last year beating Serena Williams in Cincinnati. Maria is at her best in these hard court conditions I believe as she has amazing power, speed, and her shots are flat which allow her to keep opponents on their toes. Maria Sakkari is the real deal, and she will know this is going to be her best chance in a while to get close to her maiden Grand Slam title. However, she needs to beat the up and coming star in Emma Raducanu here at the 2021 US Open to give herself a chance.
Maria Sakkari and Emma Raducanu have never met before, with this being their first career meeting. A lot of people will have jumped on the Emma Raducanu train as she has shown us that she is definitely a star for the future. However, we cannot look at Maria Sakkari and think that she can be beat here at the 2021 US Open just yet. After that performance against Pliskova, Sakkari showed us amazing statistics on her serve, winning 93% of first serves, 76% of second serves, and not giving Pliskova a single break point opportunity throughout the entire match. Raducanu was good on her serve, but not as impressive. Due to this, I believe that Maria will dominate on her serve again, and Emma will play well, but at some point she will give Maria a break which will cost her the match and a chance to get into the Final here at the 2021 US Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Maria Sakkari in 3 Sets.
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