Sunday, September 12, 2021

Emma Raducanu Story at the US Open - GREAT

At the beginning it was thought that the US Open was missing a marquee women's ""name" when all this started. There was no Serena and the US women were falling. And then a new story started to grow. Two teenagers started beating the ranking women in the tournament - often impressively.  Sure, we all thought, they would lose and it would be a dull final, but they did well, give them a round of applause.

But they kept winning.

Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez.

Emma Raducanu came from the Qualifying Tournament.  That means that in order to even play in the US Open, she had to win three rounds of matches in the week before in order to qualify. Most women in the Open are in because of high rankings, a few are invited by the tournament officials (almost always players from the host country), and a select few come from the qualifying tournament and matches of 'others". Emma was ranking 160th in the world going into the Qualifying Tournament. She won those 3 matches and then 6 straight main draw matches. She is the first player (man or woman) to ever come out of the qualifying tournament to win the whole shebang!

Her opponent, Laylah Fernandez, is a Canadian teenager ranked 73rd in the world. Layleh's path to the finals was also massively impressive. Se beat the #2 player, the # 11 player and a former #1.And in most of them, she came back from the edge of losing.

And they both were joyful and fun while winning. A welcome respite from the Serena and the blond "...oavas" of Eastern Europe. It was refreshing to have exuberance back.

So it was not 1, but 2 Cinderella stories that captured hearts and made the final match a true feel good story. Emma is from the UK and thrilled the Brits. Leylah is from Canada and they turned out for her. It was a beautiful match.

A truly amazing aside, Raducanu not only won, she did not lose a single set in all three weeks. That means ever match she won 2 to 0. Leylah won most of her matches 2-1.

And my Eddie, after the match, took this picture.

The gentlemen in back works with Ed.

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