Go back 12 months, and Briton Emma Raducanu surprised the world by coming through qualifying and taking the US Open title.
Can Emma Raducanu retain the US Open title?
12 months ago, Emma Raducanu had just received her A Level results and entered the US Open qualifying at Flushing Meadows.
The Brit had no pressure on her, having retired during the fourth round at Wimbledon due to breathing difficulties. Raducanu then headed to America for the U.S. swing. The Brit lost in the first round of the Silicon Valley Open having received a wildcard to enter.
However, the Brit then reached the final in Chicago where she lost to Clara Tauson. Raducanu then entered the qualifying at the US Open. The Brit was 31st seed and easily defeated Bibiane Schoofs and followed this up with straight set wins against Mariam Bolkvadze and fourth seed Mayar Sherif.
The 18-year-old was in the main draw. Unseeded and with nothing to lose the Brit played freely. Raducanu won each match in straight sets, and defeated 11th seed Belinda Bencic & 17th seed Maria Sakkari to reach the final. In that match, the Brit met Leylah Fernandez, also a teenager at 19 years old.
The Brit went on todefeat the Canadian in straight sets to lift her maiden Grand Slam title. The win also lifted the young Brit into the top 30. Raducanu reached number 23 at that point, and currently sits at number 11. Although she will be unable to repeat the exact feat this year. Last year Raducanu was the first qualifier in the open era to win a Grand Slam title, this year she will be seeded in the main draw.
What does Raducanu need to do to retain the title? Simple: play like last year. The Brit will need to ignore any pressure from external sources and enjoy and swing freely. Even if the Brit cannot win the title again this year, she has one Grand Slam title to her name.
Before Raducanu, the last British woman to lift a Grand Slam title was Virginia Wade back in 1977. So there will be expectations on the young Brit, however, if she can ignore it there is no reason why the 19-year-old cannot go a long way in the tournament again.
Will she claim the title? who knows, but there is no reason why she cannot do so.
Main Photo from Getty.