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.



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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Carlos Alcaraz beats Yannick Hanfmann on his debut at the China Open



This year’s Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz beat Yannick Hanfmann 6-4 6-3 in 1 hour and 37 minutes on his debut at the China Open in Beijing three weeks after reaching the semifinal at the US Open. 


Alcaraz has improved his win-loss record to 59-7, leading the ATP Tour. The Spanish player leads the ATP Tour with 8 titles and 5 finals. 

Hanfmann saved eight of the eleven break points and broke twice in the first set. 

Alcaraz earned an early break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead, but Hanfmann broke straight back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Alcaraz converted his fourth break point in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Hanfmann pulled back on serve in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Alcaraz earned his third break with a forehand at 4-4 to seal the first set. 

Alcaraz broke twice in the third and ninth games to close out the second set 6-3. The two-time Grand Slam champion did not face a break point in the second set. 

Alcaraz converted five of the sixteen break points he faced. 

Alcaraz set up a second round match against Lorenzo Musetti, who beat Karen Khachanov 6-3 1-6 6-2. Khachanov won at the Zhuhai Open last week beating Yoshihito Nishioka  in the final. 

“Hopefully I have a lot of years to come here to China. Creating my chapter here in China would be great for me. To finally be able to come here to China and show my tennis in front of the Chinese people is something that I wanted a long time ago and I am really happy to do it, hopefully the first of many here”, said Alcaraz. 

Musetti converted his second break point in the second game to take a 3-0 lead. Khachanov broke back in the fifth game to draw level to 3-3. Musetti broke for the second time in the eighth game to seal the first set 6-3. 

Khachanov broke twice in the second and sixth games to close out the second set 6-1. 

Musetti broke Khachanov twice in the sixth and eighth games to seal the third set 6-2. 

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Jessica Pegula and Maria Sakkari advance to the semifinal in Tokyo



Number 2 seed Jessica Pegula cruised past Daria Kasatkina 6-1 6-0 in just 59 minutes at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo to reach her seventh semifinal of the 2023 season.


Kasatkina earned an early break in the opening game of the match, but Pegula reeled off 12 consecutive games. The US player hit 25 winners and broke six times. She saved three break points as she served out the first set. Kasatkina was not able to convert eight game points across her first two service games. 

Pegula has scored her second win in as many matches against Kasatkina after beating her Russian opponent 7-5 6-3 in the first round in Rome 2021. 

Pegula has improved to 10-9 against top 20 rivals in 2023. 

Pegula set up a semifinal match against Maria Sakkari, who beat Caroline Garcia 6-2 6-2 in the quarter final. Sakkari claimed her second win in a week over her French rival equalling her career-best streak of seven consecutive match wins. Last week Sakkari beat Garcia 6-3 6-0 in the semifinal of the Guadalajara Open.  

Sakkari hit 15 winners to eight unforced errors and saved all six break points. 

The US player will meet her Greek rival for the ninth time in her career and for the third time this season. Sakkari leads 5-3 in her head-to-head matches against Pegula. They are 1-1 in their 2023 clashes. Pegula took the win 6-2 4-6 6-1 in the semifinal in Doha, but Sakkari turned the tables by winning the Washington semifinal 6-3 4-6 6-2. 

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Asian Games Champion Qinwen Zheng Reveals Shock Departure Of Coach Fissette



Image via https://twitter.com/WTA_insider

China’s Qinwen Zheng says she feels ‘hurt’ by the decision of her former coach to end their collaboration in order to work with another player. 


The US Open quarter-finalist had been working with Belgium’s Wim Fissette in recent weeks following the departure of Pere Riba who is now the coach of Coco Gauff. Fissette has a wealth of experience in women’s tennis after working with the likes of Kim Clijsters and Naomi Osaka. However, Zheng says she is now looking for a new mentor.

“I understand his decision, but my family and I feel hurt. Right now I don’t want to talk about this person (Fissette),’ journalist Bendou Zhang quoted her as saying. 

Fissette is yet to comment on his departure. He had previously coached former world No.1 Osaka between 2019-2022 and during this period she won two of her four Grand Slam titles. The American-based Japanese player is on maternity leave from the sport and gave birth to her first child in July.

20-year-old Zheng is currently ranked 23rd in the world and won her maiden WTA title in Palermo earlier this year. She is the youngest player from her country to have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam in the Open Era following her run at Flushing Medows. This year she has beaten top 10 players Ons Jabeur and Daria Kasatkina. 

Zheng’s latest career milestone is winning gold at the Asian Games on Friday. in the final, she defeated Zhu Lin 6-2, 6-4, in the blistering Hangzhou heat.

“The feeling was incredible,” Zheng said. “I’m really happy about that. That was not an easy match today and also yesterday (in semifinal against Alex Eala). All of them are good fighters.”

It is not clear who Zheng will be working with during the Asian swing. 

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