18-year-old British qualifier Emma Radacuna is the US Open Champion beating Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 in Saturday’s final. By claiming the title in New York she became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam in 44 years. Raducanu had an incredible journey to the final and had to progress through the qualifying round to even reach the main draw. In doing so she became the first qualifier to win a major tennis title.
The final at Flushing Meadows was a high quality match between two very talented teenagers. Raducanu took the first set 6-4 and was ahead in the second and was serving for the match before suffering a bad fall at 5-3. Fernandez was up 40-30 with break point but the Brit required a medical time out to attend to a cut as a result of the fall. The pause in play clearly agitated Fernandez but with blood rolling down Raducanu’s leg there was no other choice from the umpire but to call a time-out. Once the injury was treated Radicanu came back onto court and not only saved break point but held her nerve to win the service game and claim her first Grand Slam title.
Amazingly Radicanu came through 10 matches to win the US Open without dropping a set. She also beat Olympic champion Belinda Bencic in the Quarter Finals. As she held the trophy she spoke to former British number one Tim Henman and said, “It means everything to hold this trophy and I don’t want to let go right now.”
In victory she has received special messages from the Queen and the Prime Minister and has truly captured capturing the hearts of the nation.