Emma Raducanu makes history as she wins US Open – here’s how people are reacting

By Stephanie Cockroft

Emma Raducanu celebrates winning the opening set (Elise Amendola/AP)

(Picture: AP)

Against the odds, she’s done it.

Emma Raducanu has made history by winning the US Open, becoming Britain’s first female grand slam singles champion for nearly half a century.

The 18-year-old tennis star, who was the first ever qualifier to reach a slam final, beat Leylah Fernandez, a 19-year-old Canadian, in straight sets (6-4 6-3) during the women’s final in New York. The pair have known each other since they competed at under-12 level.

The impressive victory – which she won with an ace on her third championship point – means Raducanu is the first British woman to win one of the sport’s biggest trophies since Virginia Wade in 1977.

It comes after a dream-like run in the tournament for the teenager, in which she was not expected to reach the final, having seeded at number 150 in the world. Now, alongside winning a £1.8million prize cheque – more than eight times Raducanu’s current career earnings – she will gain 2,000 ranking points, which would move her current standing up to 23.

After she won, Raducanu – who did not drop an entire set during the tournament – fell to the court in disbelief before climbing into the stands to celebrate with her team.

As expected, she was flooded with congratulations – even from the Queen...

The calm, composed way with which Raducanu has romped her way through the draw has been arguably the most impressive thing about her run.

She defeated first Olympic champion Belinda Bencic and then Greek star Maria Sakkari to set up a final against Fernandez.

Speaking after the match, Tim Henman backed Raducanu to add more grand slam titles to her maiden victory at the US Open.

“What she has achieved, second grand slam and the way she has gone about it, she will win more of these, she is that good,” he told Amazon Prime.

“This is not some flash in the pan or fairy tale. She is playing top five tennis. Her world will be turned upside down but she has good people around her. It will be a hell of a ride if she can stay injury free.”

Raducanu, who moved to the UK when she was two, has a Romanian father and Chinese mother, and played at Parklangley Club in Beckenham, south-east London, from the age of six.

Just over a year ago, with the country in lockdown and no competitions to play in, she was smashing tennis balls against the garage wall at home. And barely a month ago she was getting her A-level results (an A* in maths and an A in economics, naturally).

But she burst onto the scene this summer by becoming the youngest British woman in 42 years to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon on her debut.

While that experience ended with her withdrawal due to breathing difficulties – Raducanu admitting later the moment “caught up with her” – it proved to merely be a stepping stone to an even greater achievement.

Speaking after her historic win, Raducanu said she is “switching off” from “any future thoughts or any plans, any schedule. I’ve got absolutely no clue. Right now, no care in the world, I’m just loving life.”

Good for her.


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