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after qualifying, Emma Raducanu achieves the feat of winning a Grand Slam

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Britain’s Emma Raducanu won the US Open on Saturday. She becomes the first player from qualifying to win a Grand Slam title.

Emma Raducanu has just performed an incredible performance. The only 18-year-old Briton won the US Open on Saturday 11 September in New York, beating 19-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez in the final (6-4, 6-3).

She thus becomes the first player from qualifying to win a Grand Slam title and also the youngest, since the Russian Maria Sharapova who won Wimbledon at 17, in 2004.

Her feat is all the more impressive given that Raducanu, 150th in the world, won everything in her path, leaving no crumbs for her opponents: she won her ten matches, including qualifications, by 20 sets to 0. The last to have succeeded similar “perfect” at the US Open was Serena Williams in 2014.

In front of her was Fernandez (73rd), the other sensation of the New York fortnight, who, failing to have swept away his rivals, managed to reverse very compromised situations, at the expense of yet seasoned opponents. .

She had thus blocked the road of three of the five best players in the world: the Japanese Naomi Osaka (3rd), winner last year, the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina (5th) then the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (2nd).

But this time, she couldn’t do anything against Raducanu, whom she found for the first time in the pros, three years after her loss to the Briton in the second round of the Wimbledon junior tournament.

The context was obviously quite different, at the heart of Arthur Ashe’s cauldron and its 23,000 electric fans, including Billie Jean King, one of the greatest champions of all time who must have enjoyed seeing the tennis of tomorrow come to light. under his eyes.

A star is born

Raducanu was, as expected, the most aggressive in this final, like this successful entry break, taking advantage of the feverishness in the service of his opponent who will continue to pay the dear price during this meeting.

Fernandez succeeded in breaking down because she knew how to compete in the exchange, showing that, failing to be so powerful, she was very good at counterattacking and imposing rallies. But after 58 highly contested minutes, it was the Briton who again made the difference on opposing service, with a superb uncrossed forehand.

The Canadian, weighed down by a first ball barely exceeding 50% success and a second often punished by the returns of her opponent, again gave up her engagement twice in the second round which she had started well by breaking the first .

After saving two match points at 5-2 on her serve, she fought like hell to delay the deadline, finally releasing her shots. On one of them offering him a debreak bullet, Raducanu grated his left knee on a slip, a tear of blood running down his leg.

After a medical time out, slightly contested by Fernandez aware that her momentum could be broken, the Romanian, after a difficult smash passed ric-rac, offered her third match point. The maid.

Raducanu collapsed with joy under the cheers. A star was born in Flushing Meadows who no one saw coming, except perhaps observers who remember that at Wimbledon this summer she reached the round of 16, then receiving an invitation.

She then gave up in the round of 16, suffocated by the stake, victim of respiratory problems. This time, it was she who took the breath away around her.

With AFP