Leylah Fernandez talks highly about her father and shares a prank he played on her. (1:33).
NEW YORK -- Serena Williams, 17, beat Lindsay Davenport, the 1999 US Open champion. She was then asked how it felt to reach her first major final.
It's truly amazing. She replied, "I mean, you completely prepare for it." "I have always been one of those who said, "I want to win at the US Open. It is what I want.
Leylah Fernandez (19-year-old Canadian girl) defeated No. Aryna Sabalenka, the second seed in the US Open semifinals, defeated No. There is no limit to my potential. Everything is going great right now, so I'm glad.
Williams' match against Martina Hingis, 18 years old from Switzerland, was the first time that two teenagers had met in a major final. Fernandez will face Emma Raducanu, 18 years old from Britain in Saturday's US Open women’s final. This is a trait that was also displayed by the teenagers who broke through 22-years ago.
Rennae, who was a former player and ESPN tennis analyst, said that she saw the same composure in 1999 with [Williams] and Hingis. Great champions must be calm. They must be able to manage the big moments. Those two had amazing careers.
The US Open will crown a new champion for teenagers, regardless of who wins the title on Saturday. The tournament has a long history of successful careers for teen champions, including Canada's Bianca Andreescu who defeated Serena Williams in 2019.
Here's a look at the history of Fernandez & Raducanu, the Open era US Open champions.
Emma Raducanu (18 years old) is aiming to be the first teenager to win The US Open since 2019. On Saturday, she will face Leylah Fernandez (a fellow teenager). Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Tracy Austin, 1979 US Open
Age: 16 Years, 270 Days (1979).
American Tracy Austin, 16 years old and nine months was the youngest US Open champion of the Open era. It is remarkable because she defeated Chris Evert, the four-time defending champion -- in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3. Austin, the third seed at the time, defeated Martina Navratilova three years later to regain the title. These two US Open titles were her highlights in her career.
Steffi Graf, 1988 US Open
Age: 19 Years, 89 Days
1988 was a memorable year for Steffi Graf. She became the first player to win a Golden Slam at age 19, winning all four Grand Slam titles and the Olympic gold medal in Seoul. This feat is still unmatched in tennis history. She defeated Gabriela Sabatini, 6-3, 3-3, 6-1 at the US Open. This made her the third woman, after Maureen Connolly Brinker and Margaret Court, to win a calendar Grand Slam.
Pete Sampras 1990 US Open
Age: 19 Years, 29 Days
Sampras, a 19-year-old male tennis player, was the only one on this list. Sampras, a 19-year-old male tennis player, was seeded No. 12 at the 1990 US Open after having lost in the first round at Wimbledon. He was largely unnoticed until he beat John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl in quarterfinals. He beat Andre Agassi in straight set, 6-4. He won his first Grand Slam title in the process.
Monica Seles, 1991 US Open
Age: 17 Years, 280 Days (1991).
Seles was just 17 years old when she reached the 1991 US Open. She had already won two major championships. Seles was ranked No. 2 in the world at the US Open. Seles defeated No. 2 in the world. 1 Martina Navratilova won her third Grand Slam title in straight sets 7-6, 6-1. She replaced Navratilova as world No. 1. Following a huge 1991 year, she had a better 1992. She reached all four Grand Slam finals and became the sixth woman to do it. In 1992, she defended her US Open title beating Arantxa Sanchez Vicario from Spain 6-3, 3-1 to win her seventh Grand Slam title.
Martina Hingis 1997 US Open
Age: 16 Years, 342 Days
Hingis, who was just 16 years old, reached the finals at all four Grand Slams in 1997. She became the youngest woman and seventh woman to do so. In 1997, she became the youngest woman ever to win three major tournaments simultaneously. She defeated Venus Williams in the finals at the US Open 6-0,6-4 and didn't lose any set throughout the tournament.
Serena Williams 1999 US Open
Age: 17 Years, 350 Days
Williams defeated then-No. 1 Martina Hingis won in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6. This made her a global superstar overnight. She was the first African-American woman in Open tennis to win a Grand Slam title.
"I was in my locker room because I was still playing doubles and Serena came into the match against Kim Clijsters ahead of mine in the third round. Alexandra Stevenson, a former tennis player, said that she was winning the match because of her performance in the semis at Wimbledon. She also stated that she would beat her in this tournament. So I wasn't surprised that she won the [US Open] at all. Serena enjoys doing such things. She is very competitive, and she won the Open."
Svetlana Kuznetsova, 2004 US Open
Age: 19 Years, 76 Days
Kuznetsova won the entire tournament. She lost only one set to Lindsay Davenport, in the semifinals. She defeated Elena Dementieva, a fellow Russian, 6-3, 7-5. This made her the third Russian woman to win a Grand Slam title after Anastasia Myskina and Maria Sharapova.
Maria Sharapova, 2006 US Open
Age: 19 Years, 144 Days
After defeating then-No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo was defeated by the Russian teenager. Justine Henin became the eighth woman to reach all four Grand Slam finals within a single calendar year. Sharapova won the US Open final in straight sets, winning 6-4, 6-1. She is now the second Russian teenager to win the title after Kuznetsova. After winning Wimbledon in 2004, at the age of 17, this was Sharapova's second Grand Slam title.
Bianca Andreescu, a teen, was the last to achieve the feat. She beat Serena Williams in 2019, at 19, in the US Open final. Antoine Couvercelle/Panoramic/Icon Sportswire
Bianca Andreescu, 2019 US Open
Age: 19 Years, 83 Days
Andreescu won the 2019 US Open with a stunning run, defeating then-No. Belinda Bencic and Caroline Wozniacki were the other two finalists. She faced Serena Williams (multitime Grand Slam champion) in the final. Andreescu won the match in straight sets, 6-1, 7-5. Williams was denied her 24th Grand Slam title, and an opportunity to equal Margaret Court's record.
In her postmatch news conference, Andreescu expressed an emotional view that "for it to become reality is so crazy." These visualizations do work, I guess.
There were notable teen wins at the three other Grand Slams
Martina Hingis 1997 Australian Open: Hingis won five titles prior to turning 20, including the 1997 Australian Open, when she was only 16. Mary Pierce was defeated in straight sets 6-2, 6-1. She did not lose a single set throughout the tournament. She became the youngest woman to win a Grand Slam title, surpassing Lottie Dod in 1887 when she won Wimbledon.
2005 French Open, Rafael Nadal: Nadal defeated Mariano Puerta, 6-7, 6-1 and 7-5, to win his first French Open title and his first Grand Slam title. He then won a record number of French Open titles, which he followed up with 13 more.
Boris Becker 1985 Wimbledon: Becker (17) came in unseeded and beat three top-10 to win his first Grand Slam title. He was the first unseeded person to win Wimbledon.