In the end there were two winners, even if only one goes down in history!
Emma Raducanu (18) won the US Open and beat Leylah Fernandez (19 / Canada) 6: 4, 6: 3 in the teen final in New York. After 1:51 hour, the British turned her third match point. It is clear that Fernandez is disappointed, but she doesn’t have to feel like a loser.
The daughter of a Romanian and a Chinese woman is the first female qualifier to win a Grand Slam final. She played ten matches in three weeks in the Big Apple, without giving up a single sentence. Even more: in no sentence did she treat her opponents to more than four game wins.
Raducanu humbly: “This tournament showed the future of women’s tennis. Anyone in the field can win the tournament. ”She is number 150 in the world, but will climb to 23rd on Monday. And that with 2.1 million euros on top. Since she’s interested in investing and following the numbers from Wall Street, she’s sure to know what to do with it.
She is the first British woman since Virginia Wade (76) to win a Grand Slam tournament. Wade won Wimbledon in 1977 and sat in Arthur Ashe Stadium, which was packed with 24,000 spectators, on Saturday.
“The level was very high. I hope we will play against each other a lot and hopefully these will be the finals, ”said Raducanu to Fernandez, who she has known since she was eleven. But they are not friends. “We have no contact.”
Raducanu then accepted the trophy from tennis icon Billie Jean King (77), after whom the US Open facility is named and who founded the WTA women’s tennis association in 1973.
But even the defeated Fernandez was celebrated with standing ovations for minutes: “It’s unbelievable. I’m proud of what I’ve played for two weeks, ”she said. While Raducanu had three more matches, the candidate had the harder draw.
She had to beat defending champion Naomi Osaka (23 / Japan), the former number 1, Angelique Kerber (33), the world number four Elina Switolina (26 / Ukraine) and number 2, Aryna Sabalenka (24 / Belarus).
“I will come back to the final here and then take the right trophy home with me,” said Fernandez to the deafening cheers of the audience. She knows how to win people over, apart from a rousing tennis game.
She reminded them of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. “I know that today is a tough day for New York. I hope one day I will be as strong as you New Yorkers have been in the last 20 years. “
The game is quickly told in a sporty way. Both of them often served each other, but left-handed Fernandez did not use her greatest weapon, the forehand along the line, until the end of the game. But by then it was already too late.
Raducanu thus won again and again the opposing serve, which was enough to win. Shortly before the end of the break ball against herself, she took an injury time-out because she had scratched her shin bloody while sliding across the floor.
That threw Fernandez off his feet and seconds later Raducanu sank to the floor with a plaster on his leg. It is her first tournament win ever. Generally she is considered to be the more complete of the two players. The next few months will show whether this is actually the case.
As I said: Fernandez doesn’t need to feel like a loser either. Like Raducanu, she has taken thousands of hearts by storm. The tennis world can look forward to this generation.