Emma Raducanu became the first British woman in 44 years to win a Grand Slam as she defeated Canada’s Leylah Fernandez in the US Open final.
The 18-year-old, the first qualifier ever to reach a Grand Slam final, capped off her mesmeric run in New York with a 6-4 6-3 win over fellow teen Fernandez, only three month’s after making her debut on the main women’s tour.
Miss Raducanu fell to the floor in euphoria as she fired an ace to seal the victory in a showpiece final of immense quality in the first all-teenage Grand Slam final since 1999.
She served for the match at 5-3 but suffered a severe cut chasing a Fernandez return as she went a break point down, leading to a medical timeout that clearly irritated Fernandez as she vented her frustrations to a match official.
Miss Raducanu shrugged off the frustration and a Flushing Meadows crowd clearly leaning towards her opponent as she faced another break point before closing out the win on her third championship point.
The victory saw the 18-year-old maintain her phenomenal record of not dropping a single set throughout the entire tournament, going back to the qualifiers she had to progress through as world number 150.
Miss Raducanu said: “You say, ‘I want to win a Grand Slam.’ But to have the belief I did, and actually executing, winning a Grand Slam, I can’t believe it.
“It was an incredibly difficult match, but I thought the level was extremely high and I hope we play each other in many more tournaments and, hopefully, finals.
“I didn’t actually want to stop (after suffering the cut) because I thought it would disrupt my rhythm, seeing as I was going to be serving 30-40, and to have such a long break after a point.
“But I couldn’t play on. I wasn’t allowed to because my knee was, like, gushing with blood. The chair umpire said I needed to get it treated right away. I guess I just went over and was really trying to think what my patterns of play were going to be, what I was going to try to execute.
“Staying in the moment, focusing on what I had to do and my process and the mindset just really helped in those tough times.
“My dad is definitely very tough to please but I managed to today.”
Image source: The Scotsman