Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

15.19 13 Sep 2021


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US Open champion Emma Raducanu says she once again struggled with nerves ahead of Saturday's final at Flushing Meadows. 

The 18-year old became the first ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam singles title when she beat Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez in straight sets.

Her victory has catapulted Raducanu 127 places to 23 in the latest WTA rankings.

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She was asked on NBC's Today Show if she foresaw winning the US Open when she arrived in New York last month.

"Not at all", she replied.

"I did not think I would last the whole trip.

"I thought I'd be home in a week after qualifying. But I've just been doing my best to take care of every single day individually and to the best of my abilities.

"Then, three weeks later, the time's flown and I was holding the trophy at the end. It was the best time of my life."

It completed a remarkable change in fortunes for Raducanu, who had to abandon a Wimbledon 4th round match with Ajla Tomljanovic in July on mental health grounds.

The Bromley teen, who is yet to play a regular WTA match, revealed the enormity of Saturday's occasion almost got the better of her.

"I just didn't feel quite 100 per cent," Raducanu said, "And I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

"It's just a weird feeling, but I think that's part of the build-up and everything, but as soon as I got out onto the court and was just doing what I've done 100 times before, playing and just focusing on the point and tactics and not trying to get caught up in anything... I felt completely normal.

"It was a great level match because Leylah played incredible tennis, and we were literally throwing everything at each other, and I'm just very proud to have come through. Some tough moments at the end, especially."

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Emma Raducanu Leylah Fernandez Tennis US Open Wimbledon

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