On Saturday, Emma Raducanu won the U.S. Open for the first time, defeating Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3 for her first Grand Slam victory.
Raducanu was the first player in the professional era, dating back to 1968, to make it to the final of a major tournament after qualifying. The 18-year-old from the United Kingdom then won it, becoming the youngest Grand Slam champion since Maria Sharapova of Russia at Wimbledon in 2004.
Raducanu became the first player since American Serena Williams in 2014 to win the U.S. Open without dropping a set in only her second Grand Slam competition.
After needing a medical pause during her service game for treatment after cutting her knee, she finished the match.
Fernandez, a 19-year-old Canadian, defeated three top-five players en route to the final but could not mount a comeback after playing four straight three-set matches.
Raducanu added, "I knew I would have to dig deep," "It was a grueling battle, but I thought the level was quite high. I had to put forth some of my finest tennis performances."
"Both of us were playing fearless tennis for two weeks," Raducanu stated. "I hope we get to play each other in a lot more tournaments, hopefully in the finals.
"It shows the future of women's tennis, and the depth of the game right now is so great."
Queen Elizabeth II was one of the first to congratulate Raducanu on his victory.
In a statement, the British monarch stated, "It is a remarkable achievement at such a young age, and is testament to your hard work and dedication,"
Virginia Wade and Tim Henman, British tennis superstars, were among the 23,700 fans that packed Arthur Ashe Stadium for the first-ever women's Slam final involving unseeded competitors.
"It means so much to have Virginia here and also Tim and to have such British legends and icons, to follow in their footsteps, and it gave me the belief I could actually do it," Raducanu added.
A future superstar on the rise.
Her composure and fearless play belied her age at Flushing Meadow, and she became a fan and media darling.
However, as a youngster, she felt like an outsider because of the desire instilled in her by her Romanian father, Ian, and her Chinese mother, Renee, who demanded she tries various hobbies such as go-karting, ballet, and horseback riding.
"When I was younger, I was the only girl in my group karting or doing motocross, and I thought it was pretty cool," she told Vogue.
"For example, my motocross instructor once said, "Right, we're going to do press-ups." I was proud of myself because I was the only one who could do it."
On the other hand, Tennis was selected by her teachers as the sport in which she would excel from the age of five.
Rebecca Rodger, her elementary school teacher, reported that when the school organized tennis lessons, most of the students had trouble even making contact with the ball.
"Emma, on the other hand, was having a rally with the coaches. We couldn't believe our eyes. I recall thinking at the time that we were going to see her at Wimbledon, "Rodger told The New York Times about it.
Raducanu attributes this quality to her parents.
"For me, having a Chinese mum, she definitely instilled in me from a young age a lot of discipline and respect for other people into me," she added.
"I believe that having parents like mine always pushes me.
"They have big hopes for the future. That's something I've always tried to live up to."
Raducanu's amazing triumph at the 2021 US Open:
Since Virginia Wade's victory at Wimbledon in 1977, she has been the first British woman to win a major singles title.
Since Virginia Wade in 1968, she has been the first British woman to win the US Open singles title.
She is the first qualifier to win a major singles title and has a 20-set perfect record.
Since Wimbledon in 2004, she has become the youngest woman to win a major championship (Maria Sharapova at 17).
She was ranked No. 150 before the U.S. Open, making her the second-lowest-ranked U.S. Open champion behind Kim Clijsters, who was unranked in 2009.