I still do not quite believe what has happened.
Emma Raducanu, US Open Champion.
This last week the Brit was scheduled to play an ITF W60 event in a small town in Portugal, she’s now a Grand Slam champion.
Its a dream beyond dreams, a meteroic rise which tennis has never seen before in it’s entire history. I think it’s best summed up by Martina Navaratilova who on match point when Emma served an ace shouted ‘HA’, in pure disbelief.
Just to put into perspective the madness of all this:
- 79 days ago, Emma was ranked at No.338 in the world, on the 13th of September she will be up to No.23, it wasn’t that long ago she wasn’t in the top ten in Great Britain, now she will be seeded at the US Open
- The first qualifier in tennis to win a Grand Slam title
- The first female player since Serena to win a Grand Slam without dropping a set
- 10 matches, 10 wins and 20 consecutive sets of tennis won
- The first player to win a Grand Slam without winning a WTA match
- The first player to win a Grand Slam in only their second Grand Slam event
- The first British female to win the US Open since 1968
- The first British female to win a Grand Slam since 1977
I could go on, I’m writing all this and it hasn’t sunk in yet.
A lot of this might just be waffle because I just don’t know what to say. In our wildest dreams did we think when Emma stepped onto the court on Wednesday the 25th of August did I think we would be here.
Day after day I’ve watched Emma and can only applaud her game, performance and mental strength. A couple of days ago I remember hearing Martina say she must’ve done this in another life because the way she conducted herself on the biggest court, in the biggest moments was up there with some of the games greatest.
This is one of those moments that will never be matched, records that we didn’t talk about have been broken, history has been written and it has been spectacular.
Over the course of the last two to three weeks I have ran out of superlatives for Raducanu’s game. I’ve watched with Pride, Joy and Astonishment at the consistency and brutalises of the tennis. Twice in a row Emma beat opponents winning eleven consecutive games. The only time she faced a tough set was in the second round of qualifying level at 5-5, no one got passed four games against her in a set in the main draw, it is unheard of.
This is just the beginning, she’s played a handful of events. Debuted at Wimbledon, Debuted in New York and now has the world at her feet.
This is a major celebration and I hope she enjoys it for some time, it’s a run which will inspire and open doors. This will open doors for tennis in Great Britain but also for Emma. You aren’t in qualifying to make up numbers, the raw emotion of players having a breakthrough tournament can benefit their career greatly whether they are just starting out or have been on the tour for some years.
The doors this will open is incredible, she will be seeded at majors, WTA 1000 events will be an automatic entry and a pick of the events you want to play in.
The most important thing out of all I have written is having fun and enjoying it. That’s not just Emma but it’s us as fans and media, no comparisons, no pressure just joy.