The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

From qualifier to champ, Emma Raducanu tops fellow teen Leylah Fernandez in U.S. Open final

Emma Raducanu is the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title in the sport’s Open era. (John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

NEW YORK — At every round of the U.S. Open, teenagers Emma Raducanu of Britain and Canada’s Leylah Fernandez rose to each challenge in their unlikely march to Saturday’s final.

But it was Raducanu, 18, who completed the improbable story line at Arthur Ashe Stadium by winning a battle of brave shot-making and defensive grit to claim the U.S. Open — her first Grand Slam championship — in her tournament debut, 6-4, 6-3.

Raducanu became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title in the sport’s Open era. And she did it without conceding a set over 10 matches — three in the qualifying phase to simply earn a spot in the 128-player field, and seven during the tournament.

For the achievement, the recent high school graduate collected a $2.5 million check that will boost her year-to-date earnings of $268,191 roughly 10-fold. Fernandez, 19, collected $1.25 million as the runner-up.

Loading...