British teenager Emma Raducanu completed one of the most memorable summers in tennis history, going from Wimbledon surprise to US Open Champion over the course of the summer. The 18 year old made her WTA debut just months ago in Nottingham on grass, her Grand Slam debut came at home at Wimbledon where she went on a run, and after a 6-4 6-3 win over fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez, is now a Grand Slam champion after one of the most surprising slam final matchups in recent history.
Fernandez played hard but Raducanu had the bigger game and her skillset matched up better in the key moments, Fernandez faced immediate pressure in her first service game saving a number of break points but eventually going down 2-0, she would break back but then drop the set in the last game of the first set as Raducanu converted her 4th set point/break point chance.
In the second set the pressure continued on Fernandez, she saved break points in her opening service game of the second set, then broke Raducanu, but couldn’t back it up, losing her serve consecutively to go down 5-2. Fernandez would apply pressure in Raducanu service game, serving for the match 5-3, and got a break point, however Raducanu took a medical timeout for a scraped knee and after receiving treatment returned to form, taking the match with her trademark confident tennis.
Fernandez, 19, also had never played in a WTA or slam final before, and like Raducanu has an incredibly bright future. Both players are expected to be next gen stars on the WTA Tour and play in more slam finals. Fernandez was aiming to be Canada’s first Grand Slam singles champion, while Raducanu is the first British Grand Slam singles winner since the 1970s. Raducanu is also the first woman in the open era to win a Grand Slam as a qualifier, and the first US Open women’s singles winner since Serena Williams in 2014 to win the title without dropping a set. For both Radacanu and Fernandez, rankings and expectations did not matter over the last two weeks at the US Open.