Emma Raducanu beats Leylah Fernandez to win the women’s singles title in New
York. The 18-year-old tennis sensation won ten matches and didn’t drop a single set
throughout the tournament.
Emma Raducanu’s history-making three weeks in New York got the ultimate fairytale
ending as she beat fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 to win the US Open and
become Britain’s first female Grand Slam champion since 1977 – and the first
qualifier, male or female, to win a Grand Slam title.
Just a couple of months ago, the 18-year-old from Orpington was sitting her A-Levels
but a remarkable run – in a remarkable women’s tournament – that started in first
round qualifying against Bibiane Schoofs on August 25, ended with her lifting the
trophy without dropping a set in 10 matches and losing just 34 games.
In front of a beaming Virginia Wade – the last British woman to win a Grand Slam at
Wimbledon in 1977, and also the last British woman to win the US Open in 1968 –
Raducanu produced a superb performance in a thrilling final where she won the key
moments and reeled off five of the final six games to seize her moment.
But Raducanu was not to be denied, a third Championship point arrived and she
underlined her barely-believable story with an ace to seal victory in 1 hour and 51
minutes of spellbinding action.
As well as the title – in just her fourth WTA Tour-level event and second Grand Slam –
she will now rise an astonishing 127 places in the world rankings on Monday, taking
over as the British No 1 and ranked world No 23.
Three months on from a run to the last 16 at Wimbledon that ended when she was
forced to retire with breathing difficulties, it was the remarkable Raducanu that left
the 23,500 sell-out crowd and the millions watching breathless with a performance,
title and story for the ages.
“I want to congratulate Leylah and her team on an incredible fortnight, she’s beaten
some of the best players in the world and it was a difficult match with a high level. I
hope we can play each other in many more tournaments and hopefully finals,” said
Raducanu, who was making her US Open debut, playing in just her second main draw
Grand Slam and first on foreign soil.
“As for the three weeks in New York, having such a supportive team, my coach, the
fitness team, Will, my agent, the LTA – everybody that is here and everyone watching
back at home thank you so much
“Most of all thank you to New York for making me feel so at home, from my first
qualifying match, all the way to the final I have loved playing in front of you and you
have spurred me on in some difficult moments.
“Somehow I fell and I thought that would throw me off balance as I was going to have
to serve, I was just praying not for a double fault, but we got through it!”