Emma Raducanu: fans battle 3am alarms to watch US Open semi-final
Fans of Emma Raducanu were left brewing multiple cups of coffee and ruing 3am alarms as they watched the British teenager through the night in the US Open.
Unlike her quarter-final against Belinda Bencic, which was at 5pm UK time, her semi-final against Maria Sakkari did not get going until beyond 3am and so many viewers were left asking whether they should go to bed.
The Lawn Tennis Association offered out a mock ‘Holiday Request’ form on their behalf to convince those on the fence to watch – and get out of work on Friday.
The original start-time was due to be around 2am but the first women’s singles semi-final between Leylah Fernandez and Aryna Sabalenka turned into a three-set epic.
Having seen Fernandez take the first set on a tiebreak, social media soon exploded into life as British fans realised the ramifications for watching Raducanu.
Memes of Mr Bean using matchsticks to keep his eyes open, while others used Tom and Jerry using tape on their eyes, became popular as they wondered just how they would power through the night.
In a stroke of marketing genius, the LTA soon produced a clever ‘Holiday Request’ form for those worried about not waking up for work on Friday.
It read: ‘To whom it may concern,
‘Please release _______ from work on 10th September, to allow time to recover from watching Emma Raducanu in the US Open semi-final in the early hours of Friday morning.
‘Viewing is an essential activity to your employee and cooperation with this request will positively impact their morale.
Raducanu did not disappoint anyone who did manage to keep their eyes open back on British shores.
The 18-year-old needed just 84 minutes to produce a devastating 6-1, 6-4 win over Greece No 1 Maria Sakkari.
Raducanu never looked overwhelmed and she has set up the first all-teenage final at a Major in 22 years, as she prepares to face 19-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez.
She is the first British woman to reach the US Open final since Virginia Wade in 1968, and the youngest Slam finalist since Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004.
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