Emma Raducanu’s ‘best memories’ from US Open triumph as she reflects on breakthrough year

Emma Raducanu has opened up on her record-breaking year and the emotional rollercoaster she went through at Wimbledon before winning the US Open against all odds back in September. The 19-year-old has emerged as one of the most exciting prospects in tennis after being given a wildcard entry at the All England Club to kick off her incredible rise to prominence earlier this year.

Raducanu raised plenty of eyebrows with a number of impressive performances against higher-ranked opponents at Wimbledon before her participation at the tournament was abruptly ended in the fourth round.

She was forced to withdraw from her match against Ajla Tomljanovic due to breathing difficulties and later admitted that she was overwhelmed by the experience of being the main attraction at her home Grand Slam.

The British hopeful has since revealed that she was full of excitement and nervousness in equal measure, but insisted that she enjoyed every second of her debut Wimbledon campaign in spite of her unfortunate early exit.

“Wimbledon was the first moment I was being competitive on a global scale,” Raducanu told Sky Sports.

“Obviously there was so much excitement going on and adrenaline I’d never felt before, because it was the first time.

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“I was so proud and happy being at home playing in front of [the] home crowd, it was such a special feeling especially out there on Court One.

“[It was] the biggest court I’ve ever played on, so I was really nervous but I absolutely loved it once I got out there.”

Raducanu went on to fight back in remarkable fashion, becoming the first British woman to clinch a Grand Slam title since 1977 by winning the US Open just two months later.

She sensationally defeated fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in the final, elevating her profile to household-name status across the UK and beyond in the process.


Reflecting on her US Open campaign, Raducanu explained that she simply took things one day at a time, allowing her to enjoy the experience and focus on fine-tuning her own game on the biggest stage.

“I arrived in New York just hoping to get through qualifying maybe,” she added.

“I was pretty tired. I just had the most amazing time and I think the key to that was I just focused on the day.

“The time flew by, it went so fast. By the end of it I was like: ‘I don’t want to leave yet, I want to stay’. 

“It was getting to the latter stages of the tournament and I was thinking: ‘But, what if? You’re here, so why not?’.


“But no one made a big deal of it. The best memories I have of New York is the amount of fun I had out there. I definitely felt I faced my own sort of obstacles and the way I overcame those.

“For example, the first time I stepped out onto Ashe [the Arthur Ashe Stadium] I was quite nervous and didn’t realise until I started and got off to a slow start.

“And then the way I overcame that, by the end I was completely thriving out there in front of so many people.”
Raducanu will finish the year with an appearance at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi later this month.

Her first match against Swiss Olympic champion Belinda Bencic will be played on Thursday 16 December as she looks to wrap up her 2021 campaign on a positive note.

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