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US Open Women's Final Betting: What are the odds for Raducanu v Fernandez?

Raducanu's odds have come in from 400/1 to 8/13 for Saturday's final.
Raducanu's odds have come in from 400/1 to 8/13 for Saturday's final.

You only have to win seven matches to win a Grand Slam.

At the 2021 US Open, Emma Raducanu has already won nine.

And she still hasn’t dropped a set. The 18-year-old straightouttanowhere. The first person ever - female or male - to reach the final of a Grand Slam having begun as a qualifier. Emma Raducanu wasn’t even ranked in the top ten in the United Kingdom a few months ago, and now - while Johanna Konta has been off watching Grand Designs - the ball-buster from Bromley will be rocketing to British Number One.

The youngest British Grand finalist in 62 years; the first British woman to reach the US Open final in 53, and the fourth British woman to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open Era. It is, as you very well know by now, only her second major tournament. She had been at a wild 400/1 to win the event, which this writer teased his now-crippled fingers over clicking and now observes the 8/13 through tear-blinkered, blood-vessel-bursting eyes, where each sensational serve she has produced has seemingly resulted in a subconjunctival hemorrhage as those odds attenuate.

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And how has she done it? By simply taking one point at a time. In her penultimate post-match interview she even demonstrated her gratitude to the much-maligned Tim Henman, looking on from ‘the best seat in the house’ for his advice to her to do just that. She’s now beaten the aforementioned Henman’s brilliant 2003 run to the semi-finals by reaching the grand finale, where she is one half of a simply remarkable Gen Z Final. 

Thirty-eight months after meeting in the second round of the Wimbledon girls' singles, Emma Raducanu and Canadian Leylah Fernandez meet for a quarter slice of the big Grand Slam pie. The Commonwealth Courtship between two newly-birthed rivals who weren’t even alive when the first Harry Potter film was released in cinemas. Fernandez, likewise, had defied the odds to win her semi-final 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4 against Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka. Now, for the first time since 1999 since Serena faced off against Martina, two teenagers will face off under the lights of the biggest and brightest stadium in Grand Slam tennis for a maiden title.

Raducanu is the outright favourite to sail over the last hurdle, at 8/13 (Hills). In an Olympic year traditionally dominated by athletic goliaths, she is also now the odds-on favourite to win the coveted BBC Sports Personality of the Year at the same price.

Not a single one of Raducanu’s sets in this tournament has gone to a tie break, though the young Brit has made a habit of allowing her opponent to teasingly get to the break brink before entertaining with a pull-back. Back her to win her first two service games of the match to 40 at 4/1 (Paddys) before she settles down. Raducanu’s average match has 16.9 games across this nine-run - compared with Fernandez’ more exhaustive 29.1 across seven -  with 6-4 the likeliest result for her second set.  If you want to follow the trend, you can find Raducanu to win 2-0 & win each set 6-2, 6-3 or 6-4 at 11/4 (Paddys). Fernandez can be found at 4/1 for the same prediction.

Fernandez has been taken to three sets four out of six times. Interestingly, five of her 16 sets have gone to a tiebreak. For it to happen just once in the final tantalises the taste buds with a very spicy 11/4 (PaddyPower). With this in mind, and for Fernandez to continue her trend and come out tops in a tiebreak, the same odds are offered for Raducanu to win the match but both players to win a set.

Underestimate Fernandez at your peril, with whom, again, superlatives are exhausted. Just 68 days the elder of Raducanu, Fernandez was unfazed by the imposing and unabashed aggressiveness of one of the most powerful players in the game in Sabalenka, having had to humble two previous US Open champions in 2016 winner Angelique Kerber and reigning queen Naomi Osaka. It’s not entirely foolhardy to reason that this level of opponent is why the tiebreak has punctuated Fernandez’ run.

This by no means demeans Raducanu’s own path. Raducanu’s return to the baseline has been simply ballistic. Her on-court mentality, demeanour, and composure seemingly completely unflappable. Maria Sakkari’s serve had been complimented throughout the tournament, and Raducanu made it look like it belongs in badminton. Sara Sorribes Tormo is as different to Shelby Rogers as chalk and cheese and yet both have been swept aside, before her ditching of the Olympic champion Belinda Bencic (as I don’t have to remind you, all in straight sets). You can already get on the Raducanu railroad and 14/1 for the Australian Open and 10/1 for Wimbledon 2022 (Hills)

But first to the headliner at the US Open to conclude not just the greatest tennis event of the year but quite possibly the best sports tournament.

Jaws have been floored from the events at the Billie Jean King Center for the past few weeks, so in the words of Radiohead, they’ll really be no alarms and no surprises, regardless of the outcome: the real brilliance - via each of these respective finalists, two audacious, just-past A-Level aces - has been the journey.

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