On September 11, 2021, on the Arthur Ashe Stadium the two teenagers Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez, faced off in the final of the US Open women’s singles, with Raducanu winning in straight sets for 6-4, 6-3.
After the game, Fernandez, speaking to the crowd at the post-game awards ceremony, said, “I hope I can be as strong and resilient as New York has been for the past 20 years. Thank you for always supporting me. Thank you for cheering on. for me. I love you, New York! “
For 2022, what can we expect from Emma and Leylah? Raducanu at the US Open scored only the fourth time she has played in the main draw of a WTA tournament, while Fernandez had already reached the third round of a Grand Slam once.
The most important aspect will be the management of the pressure after having achieved this incredible result. After her incredible victory at Flishing Meadows, the title winner Raducanu was brutally catapulted under the magnifying glass of fans, insiders and the media, who have gutted almost everything or almost everything about the young Briton’s life, especially the UK media, always ready to exalt and destroy (as the case may be) one of their athletes.
Will 2022 be the year of Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez?
The repercussions were clear: Emma no longer performed well in the few tournaments she played until the end of the season, remedying sensational and unexpected defeats. Unexpected for those who, however, forget that it is only a 19-year-old practically at the first experience in the Tour: pressure and expectations will be formidable, and both Raducanu and Fernandez will have to deal with them. it is a physiological passage for all the great tennis players who reached unexpected goals when they were young.
Will they be able to repeat the miracle of New York? Here the situation becomes more complex. The WTA Tour is unpredictable. After Serena Williams was dethroned and after her return from maternity, various princesses tried to take the scepter of queen, but none of her ever really succeeded: Simona Halep, Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka.
The Japanese was perhaps the closest and still is still the closest to reaching a level similar to that of Serena, but the many, many outsiders are messing up the WTA Tour. Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez will have to work their way through a huge front of tennis players, ready to say no to every tournament.