Emma Raducanu beat Leylah Fernandez by a score of 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 in the first round of the US Open, taking her maiden Grand Slam title.
|Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York Dates: August 30th through September 12th
|Daily audio commentary on the Radio 5 Live Sports Extra/ Sport website and app, as well as selected live written comments and match recaps on the website and app.
Emma Raducanu defeated Leylah Fernandez to win the US Open in dramatic fashion, ending Britain’s 44-year wait for a women’s Grand Slam singles winner.
In a high-quality final, the 18-year-old completed her improbable run in New York with a 6-4 6-3 victory against her 19-year-old Canadian opponent.
Raducanu collapsed to the floor, speechless, as she blasted an ace to bring the trip to a close.
Raducanu served for the match at 5-3, but she cut her leg as she went break point down, forcing a medical time-out and a very angry Fernandez to voice her displeasure to the match official.
Raducanu, on the other hand, brushed off the setback, saving another break point before clinching her third championship point.
Raducanu went up the steps at Arthur Ashe Stadium to rejoice with her support box after the two exchanged a passionate embrace.
Virginia Wade, the last British woman to win a major title at Wimbledon in 1977, was there to support Raducanu.
Emma Raducanu is the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam and the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam without losing a set.
In her on-court statement, Raducanu stated, “It means so lot to have Virginia Wade and Tim Henman here.”
“They’re British legends, and following in their footsteps gave me the confidence to believe I could achieve it.”
Raducanu gains the following titles as a result of his victory:
- Since Virginia Wade in 1968, this is the first British female champion at Flushing Meadows.
- The first qualifier to win a Slam in the Open era
- Since Maria Sharapova’s victory at Wimbledon in 2004, she is the youngest woman to win a Grand Slam.
- The youngest British player to win a Grand Slam.
- Since Serena Williams in 2014, she is the first woman to win the US Open without losing a set.
She will take home £1.8 million in prize money, move up to number 23 in the global rankings, and become Britain’s number one on Monday.
Raducanu will also be aware that she was a part of one of the most memorable moments in British sports history, capturing the hearts and minds of supporters both at home and in New York.
Raducanu’s ascension and ascension
Astonishing. Ridiculous. Meteoric. Unbelievable. Take your choice, yet no one phrase can really express what Raducanu has accomplished.
Raducanu had a ticket scheduled back to the UK two weeks ago, just in case she didn’t make it through qualifying in New York. She hoisted the prize in front of a jubilant audience seventeen days later.
Raducanu not only made it through qualifying, but she also dominated it. In her whole run in New York, she lost the most games in a single set – five – in the second round of qualifying.
Raducanu has not only continued to win, but she has done it with such domination. Despite facing Olympic champion Belinda Bencic and in-form Maria Sakkari on her road to the final, she did not lose a set.
Even as she watched two title points pass her by in the final, she kept her cool and trusted in her strength and serve.
This is someone who was only getting her A-Level results two months ago. In June, she made her WTA main-draw debut. All of this has occurred so fast, and Raducanu has never seemed out of place.
Raducanu might have easily been overwhelmed with all of the attention she received after Wimbledon, as well as concerns about her mental toughness from some.
Instead, she put her faith in herself, recruited Andrew Richardson as a new coach, and traveled to America to compete in different competitions.
No one could have predicted this, given Raducanu’s ease with which she would sweep away her opponents and the serenity with which she would approach each match.
Raducanu, on the other hand, has always believed. She’ll also be the US Open winner when she leaves New York.
Emma Raducanu earned an A* and A in math and economics at A-Level, then two months later won the US Open.
‘An almost flawless performance,’ says the critic.
“There are so many sliding doors moments,” Laura Robson, the former British number one, said on Radio 5 Live. Emma has never had a main draw wild card until Wimbledon. Would she still be in this position if it hadn’t been upgraded? Would this have happened if she hadn’t been forced to withdraw from the fourth round due to respiratory issues?
“In her maiden Grand Slam final, she gave a near flawless performance. You’d have to believe there’ll be a lot more.”
“I can’t believe it,” says Pat Cash, a former Wimbledon winner. A qualifier winning the US Open is unheard of. Goran Ivanisevic won Wimbledon as a wildcard, although he had previously reached the Wimbledon finals and therefore did not compete in a second Grand Slam tournament.
“She strikes so hard and so neatly. I’m at a loss for words as to why this is happening. It’s completely illogical. Her performance is incredible.”
“I have never seen anything like this,” says tennis reporter Russell Fuller, “and I think I won’t see anything like it if I continue in this industry for another 20 years.”
Nerves? What nerves do you have?
One of the most frightening sights in tennis is a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium, which seats almost 24,000 spectators, yet neither player seemed rattled as they went out on to the greatest stage of their careers.
Given that she had defeated the second, third, and fifth seeds in New York, Fernandez had greater fan support, although Raducanu still had a strong following.
Both players displayed a deadly variety of cross-court punches and furious returns of service in the opening three games, which lasted 23 minutes, and they exchanged breaks as they regained their feet.
Raducanu, like she has done many times during the tournament, pulled herself out of a 0-30 hole by pushing forward, playing more aggressively, and finding her first serves.
That provided her the confidence she needed to attack Fernandez’s second serve and take the lead. She finished the opening set with a forehand down the line, then turned and pumped her fist towards her box, yelling “come on!” to the audience as they stood to cheer.
Fernandez has shown to be tenacious throughout the competition, saving three break chances in her opening service game to prevent Raducanu from gaining a 2-0 lead in the second.
She then found the break, altering her strokes to better strike Raducanu’s serves, and it seemed as though the momentum had shifted in her favor.
Raducanu, on the other hand, hasn’t performed in New York for a reason. She sat calmly, eyes closed, throughout the changeover before raising her pace and generating the break chance.
She broke with the play of the match, a spectacular forehand pass from almost off the court that trapped Fernandez at the net.
On the Fernandez serve, two title points came and went, saved once again by courageous hitting, but Raducanu did not flinch despite a severe leg cut as she crawled under the baseline.
It was a strange interlude in an exciting final that demonstrated that women’s tennis has a bright future.