Emma Raducanu Tops Leylah Fernandez in First All-Teenage US Open Women's Singles Final Since 1999

Emma Raducanu is the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam in the Open Era

Emma Raducanu; Leylah Fernandez
Photo: TPN/Getty Images; JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

It's official: the US Open just crowned one of the youngest-ever Grand Slam winners.

Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez faced off at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York Saturday, marking the first all-teenage women's singles final since the 1999 US Open.

Raducanu, 18, was ultimately victorious, beating Fernandez, 19, in two sets, 6-4, 6-3, becoming the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam in the Open Era, per the World Tennis Association.

The British tennis star is the first British woman to win a major singles title in 53 years. She is also the first player to win the US Open without losing a set since Serena Williams accomplished the feat in 2014.

Raducanu thanked her team for their support and New York for making her feel at home "from my first qualifying match all the way to the Final."

"I've loved playing in front of you and you really inspired me on in some difficult moments," the smiling teen told the roaring crowd.

Raducanu congratulated her opponent on a well-played match, noting that she hopes to play against Fernandez again "in many more tournaments, and hopefully finals."

Following the victory, Raducanu also earned praise from the British royal family.

Queen Elizabeth wrote on Instagram, "I send my congratulations to you on your success in winning the United States Open Tennis Championships. It is a remarkable achievement at such a young age, and is testament to your hard work and dedication. I have no doubt your outstanding performance, and that of your opponent Leylah Fernandez, will inspire the next generation of tennis players. I send my warmest good wishes to you and your many supporters."

Prince William and Kate Middleton also posted, "Huge congratulations @EmmaRaducanu on your stunning performances and historic Grand Slam victory! Incredible — we are all so proud of you."

They added, "@LeylaHannietennis well done on your amazing achievements at this year's #USOpen, it's been a pleasure to watch."

Both players entered the tournament unseeded, and made quick work of much more seasoned players, including Osaka, who Canadian Fernandez beat in the third round.

Fernandez, 19, ultimately defeated Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-4, to secure her first chance at a Grand Slam title, per Sports Illustrated. Brit Raducanu, 18, meanwhile bested Maria Sakkari in straight sets.

According to the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), Raducanu and Fernandez previously played each other just once. They competed as juniors in a Wimbledon girls' event in 2018. At the time, Raducanu won 6-2, 6-4 in the second round.

"We first encountered each other because I was born in Toronto and she was Canadian, so we kind of, like, made a little relationship back then," Raducanu said, per the organization. "Then I played her at junior Wimbledon. Obviously, since then, we've both come very far in our games and as people."

Looking ahead, Raducanu said she knew that competing against Fernandez now would be unlike their matchup years ago.

"I'm sure it's going to be extremely different to when we last encountered each other," she explained. "But we're both playing good tennis so it will be a good match."

Earlier this year, Raducanu — who started playing tennis at age 5 — became the first debuting British woman in 42 years to make the fourth round of Wimbledon. Fernandez is following up her turn at the Tokyo Olympics, and had never previously been past the third round at a Grand Slam.

The men's singles final will be Sunday, with Novak Djokovic playing Daniil Medvedev. If Djokovic wins, he'll have achieved the rare calendar Grand Slam.

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