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Emma Raducanu becomes first qualifier ever to win a Grand Slam in epic US Open victory

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Emma Raducanu is the 2021 US Open champion.

In a historic final at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday, Raducanu became the first qualifier ever to win a Grand Slam, defeating Canadian Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3.

Raducanu is the youngest woman to win a major since Maria Sharpova’s Wimbledon win in 2004. This year’s final also marks the first between two teenagers since the 1999 US Open, when then-17-year-old Serena Williams beat out eighteen-year-old Martina Hingis.

The Englishwoman’s win is a victory of firsts, notably making Raducanu the first to win the US Open without losing a set since 2014, and the first time a British woman has won a Grand Slam in 44 years.

Raducanu, who never dropped a set in ten matches throughout the tournament, continued her flawless play Saturday, opening up against Fernandez with a first set win.

In the second set, Fernandez was able to save two championship points as she served at 2-5 to keep the match going.

In the next game, Raducanu chased one of Fernandez’s shots into the corner, skinning her knee in the process. The play appeared to give Fernandez a chance to get the match back on serve, but a medical timeout for Raducanu put a quick stop to the Canadian’s momentum.

Five points later, Raducanu stepped up and closed out the final with an ace — sealing a clean 6-4, 6-3 win.

After 1 hour and 53 minutes, the Brit fell to her knees as the both the latest US Open champ and tennis’ next star.