Raducanu ‘shocked’ by US Open glory as she admits to ‘PRAYING not to double fault’ after time out

As Emma Raducanu tucked the US Open under her arm and gazed in wonder at the adoring Flushing Meadows crowd, the Brit reflected on a final set she ‘couldn’t believe’ she’d won. 

On a night tennis will never forget, Raducanu completed her ruthless demolition of the New York competition with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Leylah Fernandez. 

She became the first qualifier to win the Open and ended Britain’s 44-year wait for a female Slam winner – all without losing a single set. 

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Emma Raducanu wouldn’t let go of her US Open title after triumphing in the final on Saturday

The British star stormed to victory with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Leylah Fernandez in New York

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Speaking to British great Tim Henman moments after the winning swing and her joyful collapse onto the court, Raducanu clutched her trophy tight. 

‘It’s not sunk in at all,’ the teenager said. ‘Honestly I’m still so shocked. I can’t believe I came through that last service. I just don’t want to let go of this trophy right now.

‘Yesterday and this morning there were a few weird feelings, I didn’t know what it was but when I came out on court I felt completely at home and it was business as usual. I think both of us were playing some unbelievable tennis.’     

The 18-year-old’s poise faced its stiffest test yet in the final set, as her stranglehold on proceedings finally slipped inches from glory. 

Raducanu’s power proved too much for Fernandez, as she leaves New York without losing a set

Raducanu had just missed two match-points and she suddenly looked rattled for the first time, as Fernandez gained control in a determined final push. 

As Raducanu stretched for another testing Fernandez cross-court forehand she grazed her knee and blood began to trickle down her shin.  

A medical time-out was called and the soon-to-be champion took a deep breath and got patched up while Fernandez fumed at the umpire, complaining her new-found rhythm was disrupted.

Once she was up and running again Raducanu quickly got back on top, bagging a famous victory. 

Raducanu had to use a medical time-out deep into the final set after grazing her knee 

Fernandez complained to the umpire that the late stoppage was disrupting her rhythm 

‘I knew I had to dig deep,’ she added. 

‘I fell somehow and I thought that would throw my self off balance because I was going to have to serve. 

‘I was just praying not for a double fault. We got through it and just staying in the moment and focusing on the process and the mindset really helped in those tough times.’   

The Brit was handed the title by the legendary Billie Jean King, as she took what will no doubt be the first of many Grand Slams. 

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