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Emma Raducanu Defeated Leylah Fernandez in an All-Teenage US Open Women’s Single Final

The 2021 US Open was full of history-making moments.

On Saturday, September 11, tennis stars Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez took the court at New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium in the first all-teenage women’s single finals in over two decades; the last time teens faced off in the US Open women’s finals was in 1999, People reports. After two sets, Emma was declared the victor, having beat Leylah 6-4, 6-3 and winning a grand slam, making her the first-ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam in the Open era.

ESPN notes that Emma is the first British woman to win the US Open tournament in 53 years, and her huge win drew attention from the Royal Family. Queen Elizabeth II soon penned a letter to the 18-year-old athlete, writing, “I send my congratulations to you on your success in winning the United States Open Tennis Championships. It is a remarkable achievement at such a young age, and is a testament to your hard work and dedication. I have no doubt your outstanding performance, and that of your opponent Leylah Fernandez, will inspire the next generation of tennis players. I send my warmest good wishes to you and your many supporters.”

And the historic records don’t stop there. People adds Emma won the US Open without losing a single set — which hasn’t been done by any player since Serena Williams accomplished this very feat in 2014.

Emma and Leylah both gave strong performances throughout the entirety of the US Open after entering the tournament unseeded. Upon winning in the semifinals on Thursday, September 8, Leylah spoke of her optimism for future competitions. “Nothing’s impossible,” she said, per ESPN. “There’s no limit to what I can do. I’m just glad that right now everything’s going well.”

During the trophy ceremony on Saturday, Emma spoke highly of her opponent. “I really want to congratulate Leylah and her team on an incredible fortnight,” she said, per The Guardian. “She played some incredible tennis and beat some of the top players in the world. It was an incredibly difficult match but I thought the level was extremely high. I hope we play each other in many more tournaments and hopefully finals.”

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