Emma Raducanu become the first British woman to win the US Open since 1968 when Virginia Wade took the top prize.
IN a surprise-packed US Open that saw teenagers dominating the tennis courts, British star Emma Raducanu grabbed the US Open women’s singles Saturday (Setpember 11) after defeating Filipino-Canadian Leylah Fernandez.
Raducanu, 18, beat 19-year-old Fernandez in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 in the all-teen final at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City.
"First of all, I really want to congratulate Leylah and her team. She played some incredible tennis and has beaten some of the top players in the world. The level was extremely high and I hope we play each other in many more tournaments and hopefully finals," Raducanu said and thanked her team, fans and everyone who watched the final.
"Thank you for making me feel so at home from my first qualifying match. You have spurred me on in some difficult moments and I hope me and Leylah put on a good match today," she added.
From the very beginning of the first slam final between teenagers in 22 years, both players refused to be affected by the moment.
Throughout the first set they wrestled the baseline from each other, defended with elite movement and imbued every game with sheer intensity.
Raducanu – facing another upstart who first made headlines after defeating Naomi Osaka – started the match by controlling the early exchanges by constantly changing direction off both wings, and she set the tone by snapping a cross-court backhand winner in the opening game.
After holding serve, Raducanu immediately imposed herself on return, breaking on her sixth break point.
But Fernandez responded with her own suffocating return game, breaking back on her fourth break point for 2-1.
As she faced her toughest opponent of the championships, Raducanu was at times visibly frustrated by her level as Fernandez’s defense eked out errors that the Briton’s other opponents could not.
But as the set wore on, she again began to dominate the key points with her firepower off both wings.
Near the end of the exciting match, however, Raducanu had to have a medical timeout for bleeding to her left knee when she slid on the hardcourt surface.
Fernandez later praised Raducanu for her performance on the court.
"It is incredible. I have no idea what to say. Today is going to be hard but Emma played amazing. Congratulations! I am very proud of myself and having the New York crowd has been amazing. Thank you so much New York. Thank you everyone," said Fernandez whose mother is a Canadian of Filipino descent.
Raducanu become the first British woman to win the US Open since 1968 when Virginia Wade took the top prize.
Raducanu was awarded the 2021 trophy and U2.5 million in prize money.
Fernandez is returning home with the finalist plate and U1.25 million.
Tags: #tennis, #USOpen, #LeylahFernandez, #EmmaRaducanu