US Open 2021 - 'Emma Raducanu is a superstar in the making and the favourite for the final' - Mats Wilander
"To me, Emma Raducanu is the favourite," Mats Wilander told Eurosport ahead of the US Open final. "Because she is more solid from the baseline. She moves better than Leylah Fernandez. I think the crowd will be for the Canadian. Fernandez at some point, you would think, will run out of energy. Raducanu is a superstar in the making and she will most probably win her first major on Saturday."
'She's playing incredible tennis' - Wilander on Raducanu ahead of final with Fernandez
Emma Raducanu has become the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam singles final in 44 years after she beat Greek 17th seed Maria Sakkari, 6-1 6-4, at the US Open and Eurosport's Mats Wilander believes she will go all the way.
Raducanu had already become the first qualifier in history to reach the last four of the women's draw in New York, and now the 18 year old has gone one step further in reaching Saturday's showpiece final.
The new British number one comprehensively outplayed the fiery Sakkari, and she will now take on fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez of Canada in what is an improbable and magical final. It is an achievement that Wilander predicts she will still top.
"To me, Emma Raducanu is the favourite," Wilander told Eurosport. "Because she is more solid from the baseline. She moves better than Leylah Fernandez.
"I think the crowd will be for the Canadian, for sure, and they want to see a good match. It's going to be tough, but Fernandez at some point, you would think, will run out of energy.
Raducanu is a superstar in the making and she will most probably win her first major on Saturday.
Emma Raducanu of Great Britain celebrates her victory over Maria Sakkari of Greece in the semifinals of the women's singles of the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Image credit: Getty Images
"Mentally, Leylah is like a rock, incredible. She has a temperament similar to Rafa Nadal that leaves you asking, 'how do you do that?' That’s who they are.
"Emma is incredibly talented, physical, has unbelievable timing, tennis IQ, heart and enjoys it. They have both embraced it in a way that I cannot put myself in their shoes. The enjoyment part that gets the crowd going is so key for both of them.
"Emma has done it at Wimbledon and the US Open; you can do it at the smaller tournaments, but she has done it on the biggest stage which says it all. I would say the same about Emma as I would say about Leylah: if she stays fit she is going to win multiple Grand Slam titles. I cannot imagine a player like that not winning three or four majors, I really can’t.
"This final is going to be more of an open match where both Emma and Leylah are going to try and be aggressive, close to the baseline, without having a killer shot off a dead ball. Raducanu and Fernandez play in a very similar way. If Fernandez was right-handed you wouldn’t see much difference in their styles."
"It was an amazing show, which I thought was possible after watching Wimbledon," Wilander continued. "But you never think someone is going to deal with the pressure the way she dealt with it.
"She is a star - she is going to win multiple Grand Slams for sure, and she deserves to be in the final.
"When you are 18 years old and you go into these big matches, you know what you can do. You don't know what you cannot do, but you know what you can do, and she's been doing exactly what she's been doing for nine matches.
"Her level is not going to go below that. She is confident; she is young; she has no fear of the unknown at all; and she is going to be really tough to beat in the final.
"With Raducanu and with Leylah Fernandez, they know how to win. They know how to stay calm in the most important moments. They have a natural gift of not panicking, and that's amazing. I can't even explain it."