The first of many for Emma Raducanu as Briton wins US Open crown

Emma Raducanu became the 2021 US Open champion after defeating Leylah Fernandez in the women’s singles final on Saturday at Flushing Meadows. The 18-year-old qualifier from Great Britain won 6-4, 6-3 against her fellow teenager, the 19-year-old from Canada.

As had come to be the norm for her, Raducanu started off with a break in the opening and despite getting broken back, held her nerves long enough to take the set and the lead in the match. Fernandez started the second set on her terms and broke Raducanu early on. However, she wasn’t able to consolidate the break and handed it right back. It was her turn to lose serve and Raducanu had no problems in consolidating the break. In the ninth game of the set, while serving for the title, Raducanu saved a couple of break points before eventually converting the win on her first championship point.

Raducanu hit 22 winners to Fernandez’s 18 and had 25 unforced errors as compared to her rival’s 26. She saved seven of the nine break points she faced while converting four of the 18 break points, she had on Fernandez’s serve.

US Open: Emma Raducanu’s dominance sees her hoist the title

During the post-match ceremony on the court, Raducanu shared, “I think this final shows that the future of women’s tennis and just the depth of the game right now is so great. 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.”

Emma Raducanu’s win at Flushing Meadows marked a series of firsts both for the player and for the sport. Raducanu became the youngest player to win a Major since Maria Sharapova won 2004 Wimbledon at the age of 17. The Briton also ended a 44-year wait of her country to have one of its women win a Slam. The last British woman to win a Slam before Raducanu was Virginia Wade at 1977 Wimbledon. Likewise, Raducanu also became the first qualifier to win a Major, and the first since Serena Williams to win the title in New York without conceding a set. Williams did so at the 2014 US Open.

Following her US Open win, Emma Raducanu will rise to a new career-high of 23 in the WTA ranking. Leylah Fernandez, meanwhile, will mark a new career-high for herself at the 28th place on Monday. 

Photo Credit: Darren Carroll/USTA