What Emma Raducanu had to say after her US Open triumph against Leylah Fernandez
EMMA RADUCANU won the US Open women’s singles title after beating Leylah Fernandez of Canada 6-4 6-3 in the final.
Playing in just her second grand slam tournament, the 18-year-old from Kent won all 20 sets she played in qualifying and the main draw to become the first British woman to win a grand slam singles title since Virginia Wade lifted the Wimbledon trophy in 1977.
In an interview with Tim Henman for Amazon Prime afterwards, Raducanu said: “I’m still just so shocked, still in the moment. I can’t believe I came through that last service game. It honestly means absolutely everything to hold this trophy. I just don’t want to let go.
“Yesterday and this morning there were a few weird feelings that I couldn’t put my finger on, I didn’t know what it was, but that’s just normal and when I came out on court I felt completely at home, business as usual, I was just focusing one point at a time.
“The level was extremely high, both of us were playing unbelievable tennis. I had to fight really hard to cling onto that first set and then just keep my nose in front in the second.”
After being presented with the trophy by US tennis legend Billie Jean King, Raducanu said: “First of all I really want to congratulate Leylah and her team on an incredible fortnight,” said the 18-year-old.
“She played some incredible tennis and has beaten some of the best players in the world. It was an incredibly difficult match but I thought the level was extremely high and I hope we play each other in many more tournaments and hopefully finals.
“As for the three weeks I’ve spent in New York I would say having such a supportive team as I have over there - my coach, Will (Herbert) the physio, my agent, the LTA, everybody in that team and everybody at home who isn’t here but watching on TV, thank you so much for all your support over the years.
“Most of all I would say thank you to everyone here, New York, thank you all for making me feel so at home from my first qualifying match all the way to the final.
“I love playing in front of you and you’ve really spurred me on in some very difficult moments and I hope that me and Leylah put on a good performance today.”
Her 19-year-old opponent, from Canada, was understandably disappointed but proud of her own achievements during a memorable fortnight.
“It’s incredible,” she said. “I honestly have no idea what to say. Today’s going to be hard to recuperate but Emma played amazing so I congratulate Emma and your team. I’m very proud of myself and the way I played these last two weeks and especially having the crowd. Thank you so much New York.”
Fernandez also marked the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, saying: “I know on this day it was especially hard for New York and everyone around the United States. I just want to say that I hope I can be as strong and resilient as New York has been the past 20 years.”