In the first US Open final between two unseeded players, 18-year-old Emma Raducanu took home her first Grand Slam championship when she defeated 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. Raducanu became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam, also doing so in just the second Grand Slam tournament of her career. With the victory, Raducanu became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam title since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977. Wade was also the last British woman to win the US Open, back in 1968.
Furthermore, Raducanu is also the youngest women’s tennis player to win a major since Maria Sharapova upset Serena Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final. It wasn’t only a few months ago when Raducanu made her Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) main draw debut at the 2021 Nottingham Open in June, where she entered the tournament as a wild card. Later that month, she made her main draw Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon, again as a wild card. Raducanu made it all the way to the fourth round at Wimbledon, becoming the youngest British woman to reach the last 16 in the Open Era. The 2021 US Open was just her second career Grand Slam, and she had never played a top-40 player until competing in New York. On Monday, Raducanu will rise from No. 150 to No. 23 in the WTA rankings.