On Saturday afternoon, Emma Raducanu did the unthinkable. The 18-year-old from Great Britain defeated Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3 to win the U.S. Open final.
Raducanu’s run in the 2021 U.S. Open has been historic, as she became the first player in the Open Era to come through the qualifying rounds to reach the final of a Grand Slam tournament.
Despite being the ultimate underdog, Raducanu didn’t drop a single set in this year’s tournament. She’s the first player since Serena Williams in 2014 to accomplish that feat.
Of course, the sports world is absolutely stunned by Raducanu’s championship run.
“No other way to say it: Emma Raducanu is one of the greatest sports stories ever,” NFL Network’s Rich Eisen said. “What a message: You have the power to make it happen.”
No other way to say it: @EmmaRaducanu is one of the greatest sports stories ever.
What a message: You have the power to make it happen.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) September 11, 2021
“Emma Raducanu.. absolute legend. We may never see anything like this again,” Steve Weissman said. “Ranked 150, qualifier, didn’t drop a set over 10 matches to win her first U.S. Open title!! Write the screenplay. This is a true teenage dream.”
Emma Raducanu.. absolute legend. We may never see anything like this again. Ranked 150, qualifier, didn't drop a set over 10 matches to win her first @usopen title!! Write the screenplay. This is a true teenage dream. #USOpen
— Steve Weissman (@Steve_Weissman) September 11, 2021
“What a sensational match! Huge congratulations to Emma Raducanu,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote. “You showed extraordinary skill, poise and guts and we are all hugely proud of you.”
What a sensational match! Huge congratulations to @EmmaRaducanu 🇬🇧
You showed extraordinary skill, poise and guts and we are all hugely proud of you.#USOpen
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) September 11, 2021
While most of the attention this weekend will be directed toward Raducanu, and rightfully so, Fernandez deserves a round of applause for her marvelous run in this year’s U.S. Open as well.
Fernandez knocked out three top-five ranked players en route to the final. At the end of the day, Raducanu just had a slightly better game plan during Saturday’s match.
Hopefully, we’ll get to see Fernandez and Raducanu go head-to-head for years to come.