Emma Raducanu Ends Britain’s 44-Year Wait For A Female Grand Slam Champion At US Open - UBITENNIS
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Emma Raducanu Ends Britain’s 44-Year Wait For A Female Grand Slam Champion At US Open

Playing in the main draw of a major tournament for only the second time in her career, the teenage sensation has clinched the New York crown without dropping a single set in 10 matches played.

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2021 US Open Women's Singles Champion Emma Raducanu at the 2021 US Open, Saturday, Sep. 11, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Darren Carroll/USTA)

In what is one of the most remarkable runs in Grand Slam history Emma Raducanu has become the first qualifier to win the US Open after defeating Leylah Fernandez in a thrilling encounter at Flushing Meadows. 

 

The 18-year-old produced a level of tennis that exceeded her age as she battled past her Canadian rival 6-4, 6-3, who put up a valiant fight on the Arthur Ashe stadium. Raducanu has become the first British woman to win the US Open since 1968 and the first to win a major title since 1977. 

“I really want to congratulate Leylah and her team on an incredible fortnight. She’s played some incredible tennis and beaten some of the top players in the world,” the new champion said during her on-court interview.
“It was an incredibly difficult match. I thought the level was extremely high. I hope we play each other in many more tournaments and in finals.

The showdown in New York was a historic occasion with it being the first time a major final in women’s tennis had been contested by two unseeded players. Raducanu and Fernandez have clashed before but that was back in the Wimbledon junior tournament three years ago. Taking to the court to play the biggest match of their lives, neither player looked to be intimidated by the occasion. Paving the way to what was a high-quality first set of tennis.

Raducanu, who was playing in just her fourth WTA-level tournament, was the first to draw blood by breaking two games into the final on her sixth break point. However, Fernandez responded instantly to draw level once again in what was a roller-coaster opener. With both producing their best tennis, it would be the Brit who would prevail. Leading 5-4, Raducanu once again increased her intensity to apply pressure onto her opponent’s service game. Three chances to close the set out came and went before she triumphed on her fourth with the help of a blistering forehand winner down the line. Prompting Raducanu to let out her first sign of real emotion as she tried to orchestrate the crowd to get behind her. 

In recent days Fernandez has been renowned for her fighting spirit after scoring a trio of wins over top-five seeds, as well as former champion Angelique Kerber. It looked as if the Canadian would repeat this in the second frame after grabbing an early break in her favor. However, Raducanu was unfazed by the momentum change as she hit back with a vengeance by claiming four straight games to be on the verge of a historic win. 

Serving for the title after missing two championship points in the previous game, Raducanu’s fairytale victory happened in a dramatic fashion. Engaged in yet another gut-busting rally with Fernandez, she grazed her leg on the ground which forced it to bleed. Prompting the match to be halted at a time when Fernandez had a break-back point.  Resuming play, she took the match back to deuce before working her way to another match point. This time Raducanu prevailed with an ace which prompted her to drop to the ground out of sheer joy and disbelief. 

Leylah always plays great tennis and is always going to fight. That’s just the competitor she is and that’s why she’s here in the final,” she explained.
“I knew I had to dig deep. I fell somehow and I thought that would throw myself off balance because I was going to have to serve. I was just praying for a double fault but we got through it.’
“I think staying in the moment, focusing on what I had to do and my process just really helped in those tough times.”

Raducanu’s unprecedented run in Flushing Meadows is even more extraordinary given the fact it was only her second appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam. Only one other woman has ever reached the final of a major on her second appearance, which was Pam Schriver in 1978. Furthermore, only Kim Clijsters has managed to reach the title match with a lower ranking than Raducanu.

“The future of women’s tennis and the depth right now is so great,” said Raducanu. “I think every single player in the women’s draw has a shot of winning any tournament so I hope the next generation can follow in the footsteps of some of the legends (of the game).

The triumph has transformed the landscape of British women’s tennis. It had been 44 years since the last female player from the host nation of Wimbledon last won a major, which was Virginia Wade, who was in the crowd watching Saturday’s final showdown. Raducanu will now surge to a ranking high of 32nd in the world and claim the British No.1 status just nine months after being ranked outside of the world’s top 300.  

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Australia fights back from losing the first match to reach the Davis Cup final

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Australia fought back from losing the first singles match to beat Croatia 2-1 reaching its first Davis Cup in 19 years. 

 

Alex De Minaur cruised past Marin Cilic 6-2 6-2 in just 44 minutes to send the semifinal to decisive doubles match. Cilic made 10 double faults, as De Minaur broke four times to draw level to 2-2 in his head-to-head matches. De Minaur has improved his Davis Cup hard-court singles record to 10-1 in the Davis Cup. 

“This is what this team is about, that never say-die attitude. I have had a couple of instances when I have been in this position and I feel like my back is against the wall, and there is only a wall to break through, and that’s going forward steam ahead and just going after every single point. My job was to keep us alive, and I am happy to do anything I can do for my country”, said De Minaur. 

Jordan Thompson and Max Purcell came back from one set down to beat Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 6-4. Thompson and Purcell broke twice and never dropped a service game to come back from losing the first-set tie-break. 

The first set went on serve with no breaks of serve en route to the tie-break. Mektic and Pavic earned three mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Thompson and Purcell broke serve in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead and held serve in the 12th game to force the match to the decider. The Australian team broke again in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and held their next two service games to close out the third set 6-4. 

Australia won its 28th and last title in 2003. 

“I am so proud. Australia has a rich history in this competition. We have been fortunate to win it all on a number of occasions. I know what it meant to me as a player to play a final, and I am glad these guys can play it”, said Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt. 

Australia will face either Italy or Canada in the final. 

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Borna Coric beats Thanasi Kokkinakis to give Croatia a 1-0 lead against Australia in Davis Cup semifinal in Malaga

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Borna Coric beat Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-4 6-3 after 1 hour and 32 minutes with a break in each set to give Croatia a 1-0 lead over Australia in the first match of the semifinal of the Davis Cup by Rakuten in Malaga. 

 

Coric hit 19 winners to just 9 unforced errors. 

Kokkinakis saved a break point in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. The Croatian player converted his third break point at deuce in the 10th game to close out the first set 6-4. 

Coric faced the only break point at the second set and earned the only break in the sixth game to seal the win 6-4 6-3. 

“This means a lot to me. I was watching the guys playing Davis Cup when I was injured and doing my rehab. To play for Croatia is an amazing feeling for me. I was turning to my coach in the first set and saying: ‘I don’t know what to do against his serve’, but I started to read it later on, and thankfully I was serving well myself. When I was younger, I did not serve so well and I needed to improve it. After my shoulder injury I did not know whether I would be able to serve again at all, but I did so much work on it that I serve even better now then I used to”, said Coric.

Alex De Minaur will face 2018 Davis Cup champion Marin Cilic. In their previous head-to-head matches Cilic leads 2-1 over De Minaur and beat the Australian player 6-1 5-7 6-4 in the Group Stage of the Davis Cup finals. 

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Bianca Andreescu Reunites With Former Coach Ahead Of New Season 

How will the Grand Slam champion fair on the Tour with her latest mentor?

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BIANCA ANDREESCU OF CANADA - PHOTO: ALBERTO NEVADO / MMO

Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has brought a familiar face back into her team as she bids to return to her best form in 2023. 

 

Andreescu, who is currently ranked 45th in the WTA rankings, has appointed Christophe Lambert as her latest coach. Lambert had been working as the performance director at Tennis New Zealand and resigned from that position to work with the former US Open champion. He had also previously worked for Tennis Canada and during that time he was a private coach for Andreescu in 2016. 

“Bianca asked me to coach her and I accepted the job. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” Lambert told sport.co.nz. 

Lambert, who has also spent time working with the Chinese Davis Cup team and for the British LTA, has stayed in contact with Andreescu ever since coaching her six years ago. 

“It wasn’t like every week or every month. It’s always good to have people calling you when you are up, but when she was down I was checking on her and giving her my opinion.” He said. 

Andreescu had been working with Dutch coach Sven Groeneveld for over a year before they decided to end their collaboration in October. Groeneveld has a wealth of experience in the sport after working with a series of top names, including Maria Sharapova. 

This season the former world No.4 has won 20 out of 33 matches played with her best performance being a run to the final of the Bad Homburg Open in Germany. However, her record against top 10 opposition was 2-5.

“I’m just taking it day by day, and it’s a great way to end off the year as well, just bringing back all the emotions that fire a lot in me,” Andreescu recently told reporters in Glasgow at the Billie Jean King Cup. “I think I’m going to have a great preseason. Next year I really think I can crack the top 10 again.”

Andreescu, who has been hampered by injury issues in recent years, hasn’t won a singles title of any sort since 2019. 

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