Emma Raducanu from Britain grabbed her first Grand Slam title by defeating Leylah Fernandez of Canada 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday in the U.S. Open women’s final.

The 18-year-old qualifier became the first player in the professional era to come through the qualifying rounds all the way to a major title.

Emma Raducanu of Great Britain poses during the awarding ceremony after the women’s singles final of the 2021 US Open between Emma Raducanu of Great Britain and Leylah Fernandez of Canada in New York, the United States, Sept. 11, 2021. Image: Xinhua

Raducanu, ranked 150th, also became the youngest Grand Slam champion since 17-year-old Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004.

“I knew I would have to dig deep. It was an incredibly difficult match but I thought the level was really high. I had to play some of my best tennis,” said Raducanu, who is also the first U.S. Open women’s champion not to drop a set since Williams in 2014. 

XINHUA | NEW YORK

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