The predecessors of Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez: Sensations in Grand Slam history

Emma Raducanu has already set a record. Never before has a qualifier managed to get through to the final of a Grand Slam tournament. Incidentally, the same applies to the men’s competition. So far, John McEnrore came the furthest in Wimbledon in 1977 and Filip Dewulf in Paris in 1997, both of which reached the semi-finals.

The fact that two unseeded players, Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez, are in the final of the US Open is also very unusual. In addition, Raducanu did not make a single sentence on the way. Oh yeah, having two teenagers in Finale isn’t that often either.

The history of the Grand Slam tournaments is full of sensational, curious chapters. A selection.

US Open

Thanks to Nadal: Auger-Aliassime suddenly candidate for the title


Rafael Nadal King of the march without losing a set

Believe it or not, there have already been 91 women winners without losing a set. Steffi Graf achieved this feat five times, Serena Williams six times. Iga Swiatek made the last march so far in 2020 at the French Open.

In the men’s category, eleven players managed to do this. Rafael Nadal four times in Paris, Björn Borg three times (Wimbledon and twice in Paris), Roger Federer in Melbourne in 2007 and in Wimbledon in 2017. There are also legends such as Roy Emerson, Illie Nastase and Ken Rosewall. Incidentally, the first was Donald Budge, who won Melbourne and Wimbledon in 1938 without losing a set.

Twelve players have won a Grand Slam so far. The list could hardly be more prominent.

  • Mats Wilander (French Open 1982)
  • Boris Becker (Wimbledon 1985)
  • Andre Agassi (US Open 1994)
  • Gustavo Kuerten (French Open 1997)
  • Goran Ivanisevic (Wimbledon 2001 mit Wild Card)
  • Gaston Gaudio (French Open 2004)
  • Serena Williams (2007)
  • Kim Clijsters (US Open 2009 after her baby break)
  • Jelena Ostapenko (French Open 2017)
  • Sloan Stephens (US Open 2019)
QUIZ: Do you know all Germans who were in a Grand Slam final?

Raducanu very casually: “What pressure, I’m a qualifier”

The first was the Australian Mark Edmondson, who defeated compatriot John Newcombe in the 1976 finals on home turf in Melbourne as number 212 in the world.

Regardless of whether Raducanu or Fernandez – the US Open winner 2021 will definitely still be in her teenage age. Grand Slam under 20 – there are plenty of illustrious names here too.


  • Martina Hingis (16, Australian Open 1997)
  • Monica Seles (16, French Open 1990)
  • Tracy Austin (16, US Open 1979)
  • Steffi Graf (17, French Open 1987)
  • Serena Williams (17, US Open 1999)
  • Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (17, French Open 1989)
  • Maria Sharapova (17, Wimbledon 2004)
  • Bianca Andreescu (19, US Open 2019)


  • Michael Chang (17, French Open 1989)
  • Mats Wilander (17, French Open 1982)
  • Becker (17, Wimbledon 1985)
  • Björn Borg (18, French Open 1974)
  • Stefan Edberg (19, Australian Open 1985)
  • Pete Sampras (19, US Open 1990)
  • Rafael Nadal (19, French Open 2005)

Wimbledon final in 1996 with two unset players

In addition, two unseeded players dueled Richard Krajicek and Malivai Washington in the 1996 Wimbledon final. The Dutchman Krajicek grabbed his first and only Grand Slam title at the time.

On Saturday Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez will be in the finals of New York (from 10:00 p.m. live on TV at Eurosport 1 and in the live ticker) continue to write this extraordinary story.

You might also be interested in: Nine matches, 18-0 sets – Raducanu’s fairy tale continues

Podcast – The yellow from the ball: Becker on Zverev’s chances

Teenage finals perfect – that’s how Raducanu stormed into the final

US Open

Final at the age of 19: Fernandez continues US Open fairy tales


US Open

“A rookie mistake”: Zverev struggles before duel with Djokovic


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