Nobody could have imagined that Emma Raducanu would be the champion of US Open 2021 at the start of the tournament. But the 18-year-old Briton and number 150 in the world beat Leyla Fernandez, 75 ranked and 19, and won the most surprising title in tennis history.
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The British beat Canadian by easy 2 sets to 0, with partials of 6-4 and 6-3, confirming the most surprising campaign in tennis history. That’s because 18-year-old Raducanu, 150 on the WTA rankings, came from the US Open qualifier tournament. She becomes the first person in the Open Era (from 1968 onwards) to win a Major from qualy.
And Raducanu did all this without losing even a set in the entire campaign, counting qualifier and main draw.
The British won her first title as a professional and right away a Grand Slam. Only five other tennis players have done this in history: Mats Wilander (Roland Garros 1982), Gustavo Kuerten (Roland Garros 1997), Jelena Ostapenko (Roland Garros 2017), and Iga Swiatek (Roland Garros 2020).
The difference is that three months ago, at the start of Wimbledon, she was number 337 on the WTA rankings. And in the Grand Slam at home, she already showed that she could be a lot of work. As a guest she did an amazing campaign and made it to the round of 16.
A pity that she had to leave the tournament at this stage after suffering from respiratory problems seconds before taking the court against Ajla Tomljanovic.
Prior to the US Open, she had won just three tournaments but none of the world’s tennis elite, earning $25,000 in prize money for the circuit’s secondary echelon title.
With the US Open cup, she will earn no less than US$ 2.5 million, about R$ 13 million at the current price.