Wimbledon: Crowd roars as Emma Raducanu wins
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Emma Raducanu has warned top players that the young generation is ready to test them after making an impact as the US Open. As well as the Brit, two other 18-year-olds have scored huge wins to make it to the second week in Flushing Meadows. On Friday (September 3) Carloz Alcaraz and Leylah Fernandez scored wins over the third seeds in their respective draws, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Naomi Osaka.
Raducanu is part of the group of 18-year-olds making waves at the US Open, showing that there is certainly nothing to worry about in the absence of legends like Serena and Venus Williams, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal.
The Bromley teenager came through qualifying to make it into the main draw at Flushing Meadows and had already impressed en route to her third-round match, failing to drop a set.
She faced her toughest test in world No 41 Sara Sorribes Tormo on Saturday (September 4), with the Spaniard having recently knocked world No 1 Ash Barty out of the Olympics in the first round.
Taking to court 17 in the New York sunshine, Raducanu failed to let the occasion overwhelm her and produced her most stunning victory yet, beating the world No 41 6-0 6-1 in just 70 minutes.
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The 18-year-old had already made a name for herself at Wimbledon when she stormed to the round of 16 as a wildcard, in her debut Grand Slam appearance.
She had started to catch the attention of the New York fans, who were packing out the stands for her matches and cheering her on, but her dominant performance over the Spaniard has taken her to a new level of recognition in Flushing Meadows.
Raducanu has perhaps been boosted by the big focus on young teenage success happening across the US Open, as she adds her name to the list of next generation stars proving themselves to be the next big thing.
A lot has been made of what will happen to the state of tennis once the likes of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and the Williams sisters retire, with this year’s US Open already giving a taste of the new era of the game, with Djokovic the only name present in the draw.
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However, as well as Raducanu, Carlos Alcaraz and Leylah Fernandez have recently announced themselves on the biggest stage in tennis.
The pair both took to Arthur Ashe Stadium for their respective matches on Friday, and almost mirrored one another with their successes.
The 18-year-olds both beat 23-year-old third seeds in back-to-back matches on the main court, and both needed to go the distance to get their victories.
Alcaraz, currently ranked at world No 55 after announcing himself on tour earlier this year, held his nerve to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 4-6 7-6(2) 0-6 7-6(5) in a four-hour-and seven-minute epic in Friday’s day session, playing well into the evening.
Fernandez then took to the court following the Spaniard’s huge win over the third seed, where she had the tough test of facing defending champion Naomi Osaka.
The world No 3 looked to be on her way to a routine win after managing to take the close first set 7-5, but the young Canadian stormed back and won the next two sets 7-6(2) 6-4.
Although Alcaraz and Fernandez are both ranked notably higher than Raducanu at No 55 in the ATP and No 73 in the WTA, Raducanu has managed to add her name alongside the young stars who have already experienced success at tour level.
The Spaniard, who has often been likened to Nadal, won his first tour title at the ATP 250 in Umag over the summer, while Fernandez secured her first trophy in Monterrey back in March.
Now listed among the rising stars, Raducanu is excited to see so many teenage players announcing themselves against top players.
Speaking on the achievements made by the 18-year-olds at the US Open after her match, she said: “I think that to have so many young players coming through is just really great for the game, because it just shows how strong this next generation is.”
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