2021 US Open Women’s Final: The Unexpected Win


During the US Open Women’s Final, two unexpected finalists, 18 year old Emma Raducanu and 19 year old Leylah Fernandez, competed for their first Grand Slam title. Raducanu was able to bring home the title in only her second time competing in the tournament, becoming the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam. 

As Raducanu first entered the US Open she was ranked 150, which required her to enter the women’s qualifying tournament to reach the main draw. Raducanu revealed that she had not expected to even reach the main draw as she had purchased flight tickets home before the main draw had begun. During the qualifying tournament, Raducanu seized three wins, seeded number 31, and was able to reach the main draw.

During the main draw, Raducanu played 14 sets and won all 14 of them. Raducanu became the first person since Serena Williams to win every set she participated in.

Regardless of Raducanu winning in straight sets, Fernandez had an amazing run, truly displaying her skills especially as a 19 year old playing in New York for the first time. As Raducanu maintained control of the match, Fernandez continued to fight for every shot and adjusted accordingly to her competitors’ skill.

The U.S. Open crowd didn’t take sides in the contest — at least, not at the outset — but stood and applauded the achievement of each as they walked onto the Arthur Ashe Stadium court. 

For Fernandez specifically, since she entered so many of her matches as the underdog, the New York crowd became drawn to rooting for her. Spectators enjoyed her grit and determination en route to the final, which included her shocking upsets of three top-5 players in thrilling three-setters. Fernandez spoke about how grateful she was of the New York fans and how they motivated her to push herself in every point that she played.

One Sophomore, Molly Nasiri provided her insight as she expressed her feelings about the final match, “Both finalists had an incredible run, while making history. I’m excited for the future of women’s tennis especially because young women are truly proving themselves, on and off the court.”

This was the first all teenage US Open since 1999. The determination of these young teenagers is proving to inspire teenagers all around the world. Another Sophomore, Emily Nogreigh stated that “it’s kinda crazy that both women’s finalists were teenagers. A new era of women’s tennis is here and it’s really exciting that someone similar to our age is getting to win a grand slam. It motivates young women who play tennis around the world, proving that age doesn’t determine skill.”

Now, Raducanu is enjoying the champion life as a newborn household name in the world of tennis. Recently, she has been making multiple appearances in high society. Specifically, strutting the red carpet at the “No Time to Die” premiere, and attending the Met Gala. To add, she is a house ambassador for Tiffany and Co.