New York. US Open Tennis Tournament: British teenager Emma Radukanu on Saturday won the biggest underdog title in tennis history. Canada’s Leyla Fernandez became the first qualifier to capture a Grand Slam title in the US Open women’s final with a straight sets defeat.
Radukanu, 18, was the first British woman in 44 years to win the top prize of $2.5 million by defeating 73rd-ranked 19-year-old Fernandez 6-4, 6-3.
It was an astonishing feat for the 150th-ranked undefeated teenager, who did not miss a set in three qualifying matches and went on to win seven main draw matches on the New York hardcourt in two weeks. With this win, Emma has now jumped straight from number 150 to number 24 in the world rankings.
A British woman hasn’t taken a Slam singles title since Virginia Wade at Wimbledon in 1977, Radukanu is the first Brittany woman to claim the US Open crown since Wade in 1968. Queen Elizabeth II was among the first to congratulate Radukanu on his remarkable victory. A statement issued by him said, “It is a remarkable achievement at such a young age. This is a testament to your hard work and dedication.”
I am very proud of myself, the way I played in the last two weeks,” Fernandez said after losing the match to Emma. “I hoped to be back here in the finals and get the trophy,” said Fernandez, crying before paying tribute to the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York City.
Radukanu is the youngest US Open champion since Williams in 1999 and the first US Open women’s champion since Williams in 2014 not to drop a set.
17-year-old Serena Williams stunned the whole world with her prodigious talent when she defeated 18-year-old Martina Hingis for the US Open crown in 1999. A similar feat has been repeated once again after 23 years by 18-year-old Emma. Emma Radukanu, reacting to her win, said, “We were both playing fearless tennis for two weeks.” “I look forward to playing each other in many more tournaments and hopefully finals. It shows the future of women’s tennis and the depth of the game is great at the moment.”
Emma Radukanu has made the fewest slam debuts of any female slam winner. She was the only Slam appearance before reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon in July.