This year’s US Open was quite a thrilling ride with many crazy moments. From the extravagant run of the 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, to the upset of Novak Djokovic’s calendar run, this year’s US Open was filled with many amazing record breakers.
The most unbelievable moment belonged to Emma Raducanu, who won the women’s singles draw at the young age of 18. Indeed, she won the US Open without losing a set, something that has never been done in US Open history. Before even making it to the main draw, Raducanu had to make it through qualifiers, where she won a total of 20 difficult sets in a row to make it to the championship. However, this incredible run did not come from nowhere. Emma has had a long journey to reach where she is now, and to fully understand her story, we must go back to the beginning.
Emma Raducanu was born in Ontario, Canadia in 2002 to her Romanian father and Chinese mother. Early in her life, Emma and her family moved to Great Britain where her tennis career started from the very young age of 5. She began to play at the Bromley Tennis Academy. Emma also participated in other activities like basketball, golf, horse riding, and skiing.
Eventually, tennis became her main focus. When Emma was about 16 years old, she participated in the ITF Chandigarh Lawn Tennis girls tournament, where she won her first singles title of her junior career.
Later that year, Emma began her professional career. In 2021, she began her WTA career by participating in the 2021 Nottingham Open, but she ended up losing in the first round. After this loss, Emma bounced back and made a wildcard entry into her first Grand Slam: Wimbledon. Emma made it to the fourth round of Wimbledon, being the second British Woman in the open era to do so. Sadly, Emma needed to forfeit from her fourth round match due to respiratory issues. Emma’s first incredible run in Wimbledon set the stage for the 2021 US Open where she continued to leave fans in awe.
At the 2021 US Open, she did not receive a wildcard, so she needed to make it through qualifying rounds to enter the main women’s draw. Emma was able to make it through the qualifiers, winning all three of her qualifying matches in straight sets.
She made it to the main draw where she faced a Swiss player, Stephanie Vogele. Emma was able to win her first round match in straight sets. In the second round, Emma played former world rank number 23, Zhang Shuai. Emma won her second round match in straight sets too. She was able to win her 3rd round match, bringing her back to where her ended her run in Wimbledon, the fourth round.
Emma was set to play the only remaining American player in the women's draw, Shelby Rogers. Rodgers had just beat world rank number 1 in the previous round, meaning she was the favorite coming into the match. Despite all odds, Emma easily beat Rodgers in straight sets, sending her to her first major quarterfinalist round. Emma made history, being the first qualifier to ever make it to the quarterfinals of the US Open.
In the quarterfinals, she faced former world rank number 4 and Olympic gold medal winner, Belinda Bencic. After defeating Belinda Bencic, Emma faced world rank number 17, Maria Sakkari. After a quick match, Emma easily made it to the finals, making history once again. She was set to play Leylah Fernandez, another 18 year old player. Leylah had an equally impressive run to make it to the finals, as she beat world rank number 2, and former US Open champion, Naomi Osaka.
On September 11, the match commenced between the 2 teenage stars. A close first set was won by Emma Raducanu, inching her slightly closer to the trophy. After a long second set, Emma Raducanu was able to win the US Open Women’s singles title, making her the first qualifier to win the US Open and the first British Woman to win the US Open since Virginia Wade in 1968. This is only the beginning for the 18 year old tennis star, Emma Raducanu, and we are all excited to see her full career unfold in the coming years.