By Louis Chan, AsAmNews National Correspondent
18-year-old Emma Raducanu became the first ever to win a tennis major title after playing in the qualifying round Saturday in New York, winning the U.S. Open over 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.
Raducanu scored match point with an ace to the backhand corner. She immediately dropped to the ground on her back in amazement of what she just achieved as the crowd cheered.
Raducanu, who is from Great Britain, has a mother who is Chinese. She defeated Fernandez of Canada whose mother is Filipino. Both have professed pride in their Asian heritage.
Fernandez’ mother and sister cheered from the stands while Raducanu’s family had to stay in Great Britain due to COVID travel restrictions. However, shortly after her victory, she walked into the stands and up to the players box to hug her coach and her team.
Both players were gracious in their speeches with each congratulating the other for a match well played. The two shared a warm embrace after the match. They also shared a bit of history as they were the youngest players to compete in a U.S. Open Final since Martina Hingis lost to Serena Williams 22 years ago.
“I hope we play each other many more,” said Raducanu. “The depth of women’s tennis and the game is great. I hope the next generation can follow in the footstep of the legends.”
The crowd seemed to be on the Canadian’s side throughout the match. She won the hearts of many as she upset U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka, three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber and fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina enroute to the finals.
“I hope I can be as strong and resilient as New York has been in the last 20 years,” she said in reference to the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
Raducanu is now the youngest grand slam champion since Maria Sharapova in 2004 at Wimbledon.
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