Emma Raducanu’s Historic US Open


Olivia Naum, Editor

The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center was electric. Fans were allowed back at the US Open Championship for the first time in two years and the excitement was infectious. They cheered on the top players, the breakout stars, and the American favorites. The energy that the New York crowd gave was contagious, as this year’s US Open was overflowing with incredible upsets and breathtaking competitions. Tennis experts and fans alike agree that the 2021 US Open was truly remarkable. There were exciting matches right from the first round and they only soared in their level of competition as the tournament progressed. The audiences’ urging truly paid off, as there were several shocking victories, it was as if the New York crowd chose who would win the matches. 

While there were many inspiring stories that came about during this year’s US Open, the most remarkable was Emma Raducanu’s stunning run to become the women’s singles champion. At only eighteen years old, Emma Raducanu has competed in just four professional tournaments, the US Open acting as her second Grand Slam. Raducanu shocked the tennis world this summer by making it to the 4th round of the Grand Slam in her own country, Wimbledon, coming into the main draw as a qualifier. While fans globally were mystified by her success in Wimbledon, Raducanu clearly was not content with her results from this year. Taking on the qualifying rounds again, Raducanu powered through, making it into the main draw of the US Open without dropping a set. Full of enthusiasm and determination, Emma Raducanu dominated Olympic gold medalists, top ranked stars, and players who have been competing decades longer than she has. 

It was only fitting that this year’s US Open culminated with a momentous women’s final. Emma Raducanu became the first qualifying player to compete in a Grand Slam final and ultimately made history by winning the title in more than one. In addition to becoming an unseeded champion, Raducanu is the first British woman to win a Grand Slam since Virginia Wade in 1977.  On the other side of the tournament was another teenager, Leylah Frenadaz from Canada. She garnered attention at the 2021 US Open after her incredible upset against Naomi Osaka, a player who many expected to win the title. For the first time since 1999, there were two teenagers competing against each other for a Grand Slam. As both of these young women had remarkable runs to the final, the match was highly anticipated and drew in the largest audience for a women’s championship that did not include Serena Williams. With 2.44 million people tuning into the final, the number of viewers far exceeded the audience for the men’s final. This rare occurrence demonstrates the future of tennis as well as women’s sports. Emma Raducanu and Leylah Frenadaz are proving that women can be truly successful in a field that has long been dominated by men. So often women’s sports are overlooked because it is repeatedly dismissed as being less compelling. Raducanu and Fernandez are commanding people to recognize the value of women’s sports and that it deserves our attention as well as our respect. Furthermore, the accomplishments of young women in tennis is exhilarating for fans because it shows the ever evolving nature of the sport and the immense possibilities of the future.