From Qualifier To Champion At 18, Emma Raducanu Creates US Open History

In the world of tennis she is now compared to “Cinderella”, the beauty queen of the folk tale. The world witnessed a fortnight of dream run by the No. 150 ranked British teenage prodigy, who entered U.S. Open as a qualifier and went on to win one of the most coveted tennis titles in the world defeating fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez of Canada in the final in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.

She is the first qualifier, male or female, to reach a Grand Slam singles final and win it.

Raducanu, who was born to Romanian father and Chinese mother in Canada, moved to England with her parents when she was two years old.

This is Raducanu’s first Grand Slam crown and major title, that helped to reach her career-high singles ranking of world No. 23.

Saturday’s final between Raducanu and 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez marked the US Open’s first all-teen championship clash since 1999.

The two youngsters, who haven’t advanced beyond the fourth round of a major tournament until last week, were playing the biggest match of their lives in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Raducanu had to go through three rounds of qualifying to reach her second Grand Slam main draw and make her US Open debut. She did it in brutally efficient style, not dropping a set in any of her 10 matches as she fought past the likes of Belinda Bencic, the Tokyo Olympics gold medalist, and No. 17 Maria Sakkari.

She continued her stellar run against the match-tested No. 73 Fernandez, who upset No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, No. 3 Naomi Osaka and No. 5 Elina Svitolina on her way to the final. Raducanu asserted her big-hitting game early on, breaking Fernandez serve in a marathon game to take a 2-0 lead.

Although the Canadian quickly broke back, the Briton took control of the match late in the first set, converting her fourth set point with a searing forehand winner.

In the second set, she found herself having to rally from a break down as Fernandez took an early lead. Serving for her third match point, Raducanu fired an ace, and fell to the court in triumph, having written her name in the tennis history books.

The new teenage tennis sensation won the title without losing a set throughout the tournament.

“I think this final shows that the future of women’s tennis and just the depth of the game right now is so great,” Raducanu said during the on-court ceremony after wining the match. “I think every single player in the women’s draw definitely has a shot to win any tournament. I hope that the next generation can follow in the steps of the greatest legends—like Billie Jean King—and everyone who is at the top of the game right now,” she added.

Raducanu had become the youngest Grand Slam champion since Maria Sharapova’s triumph at Wimbledon in 2004 when she was just 17 years.

She has added her name to British tennis history, ending her country’s 44 year wait for a major champion. Raducanu is the first British woman to win a major singles title since Virginia Wade at the 1977 Wimbledon Championships, and the first to do so at the US Open since Wade in 1968.

Incidentally, the legendary Wade was present at Arthur Ashe Stadium to witness Raducanu’s achievement.

Coming into the tournament, the Brit had amassed $303,376 in prize money over the course of her career. She took home home $2.5 million after her victory at the U.S.

Daniil Medvedev delivered a performance for the ages in the men’s final to claim his first major singles title. The Russian beat Novak Djokovic, who was attempting to win the Grand Slam, 6-4,6-4, 6-4.

Source: Read Full Article