New York, Sep 12 (IANS) Some of the leading luminaries of world tennis including Simona Halep, Andy Roddick, Billie Jean King and Johanna Konta led the cheers for US Open champion, Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu, and finalist Leylah Fernandez, after the final.
Raducanu, the 18-year-old, became the first qualifier in the Open Era to win a major, defeating 19-year-old Fernandez of Canada, 6-4, 6-3 in Sunday’s (IST) US Open final.
With her win, Raducanu became the youngest woman to win a Slam since 17-year-old Maria Sharapova won 2004 Wimbledon and the first player to win the US Open without losing a set since Serena Williams in 2014.
“What a terrific display of competition & maturity from two exceptional players. It is wonderful to see this generation living our dream. I can’t remember a #USOpen with better crowd support. Thank you, NY, the greatest fans in the world. And congratulations, Emma!” tweeted Billie Jean King, the former world No.1 who won the US Open singles title four times between 1967 and 1974.
“A star is born — Emma Raducanu makes history — never has a qualifier won a major — men or women — and she is just getting started. And will never have to qualify again. Leylah Fernandez will be back — both are champions but Emma has the trophy- well done!!! #USOpen,” tweeted another tennis great Martina Navratilova.
“Huge congratulations @EmmaRaducanu on your stunning performances and historic Grand Slam victory! Incredible — we are all so proud of you. @LeylahFernandez well done on your amazing achievements at this year’s #USOpen, it’s been a pleasure to watch. C,” tweeted the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Raducanu made her WTA Tour debut just three months ago on the grass at the Nottingham Open and played her first major at Wimbledon, making the Round of 16. Since then, Raducanu went on to make the quarterfinals at an ITF 100K and the final of the WTA 125K in Chicago.
Raducanu is the first woman in the Open Era to win a major title in fewer than four appearances. The previous mark was set by Monica Seles and Bianca Andreescu, who won their first Slam titles in their fourth major appearances.
Andy Roddick, winner of the US Open in 2003, tweeted, “These two young women are a gift to tennis. An absolute gift,” while Simona Halep of Romania, the former world No. 1 and winner of two majors, posted, “Extraordinary @EmmaRaducanu (clapping symbol).”