The perfect fortnight for Emma Raducanu has reached its fairytale conclusion, not dropping a set on her way to becoming the first British woman in 44 years to win a Grand Slam singles title.
The 18-year-old has not won a single WTA tour match in her career, but is now 10-1 in Grand Slams. She becomes the first tournament qualifier to win a Grand Slam in the men’s or women’s draw – ever.
At just 18 years of age, she now rises from the 150th ranked player int he world to world number 23 when the rankings are calculated on Monday.
It’s been a rapid rise for the teenager, who completed her school exams just three months ago.
All-teen final sums up Open women’s field
In the first all-teen US Open final since 1999, Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu got away to the faster start over Canada’s Leylah Fernandez.
Her power hitting from the baseline was causing early issues, with Fernandez unable to chase down fearless returns, eventually falling to an early 2-0 disadvantage.
The 19-year-old broke back, but Raducanu was playing at another level with her aggression and dynamic hitting, earning unforced errors and eventually closing out the first set on her fourth set point at 6-4.
Fernandez responded resiliently at the beginning of the second set. The left-hander found good angles on her first return game, breaking back emphatically as the tide looked to turn.
But Raducanu would once again turn up the intensity, as she has done for the past fortnight at Flushing Meadows. She rattled off the next four games of the set to take a commanding advantage into a service game for the title at 5-3.
Alining with US Open protocols, a medical timeout was forced upon Raducanu when she scraped her knee, creating a buzz in Arthur Ashe after controveries in previous matches around the use of medical timeouts.
Fernandez took exception to the timeout during a critical juncture after she had won the previous game.
However, this was not one of those situations given the blood protocols, and Raducanu returned to the court in domineering fashion. Her serving was again powerful and she eventually closed her fourth championship point out with a clinical ace out wide.
Her performance was simply breathtaking. Nerves didn’t play a part in the 18-year-old’s game, with Fernandez also standing up to the moment in one of the most historic matches in Grand Slam history.
The women’s bracket could not be more dissimilar to the men’s. Already, there are three women’s Grand Slam champions born in the 2000s (Bianca Andreescu, Barbora Krejčíková, and now Raducanu).
On the men’s side, Daniil Medvedev will tomorrow aim to become just the second men’s player to win a Grand Slam tournament born in the 1990s, after Dominic Thiem. Such is the dominance of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic.
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