British Emma Raducanu, 18 years-old and ten months, with a world number 150 ranking, won her first career Grand Slam title at the US Open on her fifth overall appearance on the WTA Tour.
Thanks to this success Raducanu is the first tennis player ever (both men and women) to succeed in the enterprise starting from the qualifiers, the youngest female tennis player to win a Major since the triumph of Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon 2004 and the first British tennis player to establish herself in a Grand Slam after Virginia Wade in 1977. A few weeks earlier, at Wimbledon she had pushed through the fourth round, becoming the youngest British player in the Open era to reach the 4th round in the London Slam, her first participation.
During an interview with the Lawn Tennis Association, Emma said she is really excited about playing the Australian Open 2022: “Whatever needs to be done to be able to play the Australian Open, I will do it. To me it’s not even a thought or battle in my mind.
I just want to be at the Australian Open and I want to compete there, so whatever it takes to do, I’ll go. I’m hungry to play anyone and I think it would be a really interesting challenge.
I love to challenge myself and obviously it will be extremely hard to beat. a top-10 or a player of those qualities, but I’m ready and even if I lose, I think it would be a great learning (opportunity) just to compare where I am with where the best in the world are. So either way to me it would be a win for everyone.”
The victory at the US Open
She took part in the qualifiers at the US Open: beating Bibiane Schoofs (6-1 6-2), Mariam Bolkvadze (6-3 7-5) and the Egyptian Mayar Sherif (6-1 6-4) she earned a place for the main draw. In the first round, she takes her first win in the New York main-draw against lucky loser Stefanie Vögele (6-2 6-3). In the second round, she leaves six games to Zhang Shuai (6-2 6-4) while in the third round she leaves only one to Sara Sorribes Tormo (6-0 6-1).
Raducanu goes into her second consecutive 4th round Slam, where she finds the last American left on the board, Shelby Rogers, a veteran of the victory against world number one Ashleigh Barty in the previous round. The British got the better with the score of 6-2 6-1, entering for the first time in her career in the quarter-finals in a Grand Slam.
Here she finds reigning Olympic champion Belinda Bencic, who rules in two sets (6-3 6-4) qualifying for the semifinal, becoming the first tennis player in the history of the US Open to reach that milestone starting from the qualifiers. Moreover, she gets there without losing a set and finding herself out of the top hundred of the world: before her only tennis players of the caliber of Billie Jean King and Kim Clijsters have succeeded.
In the penultimate act, she beats the seventeenth-seeded Maria Sakkari by 6- 1 6-4, hitting his first final in a Grand Slam tournament. Raducanu becomes the first qualified in the history of the US Open to reach the last act of a Major.
In addition, she is the first British to reach the final since Virginia Wade did in 1968. In the last act she meets the other surprise of the tournament, her peer Leylah Annie Fernandez, in the first Teen Slam final since the 1999 US Open which saw opposites a seventeen-year-old Serena Williams to nineteen-year-old Martina Hingis: Emma imposes herself with the score of 6-4 6-3, becoming the first qualified in tennis history to win a Grand Slam tournament. Thanks to her amazing result, she climbs dramatically the rankings up to the 22nd position in the world.