US Open women’s champion, Emma Raducanu of Great Britain, said on Wednesday that last 72 hours after winning the title at Flushing Meadows had been extremely hectic, but despite the busy schedule post the triumph, she had been thoroughly enjoying the New York experience.
Eighteen-year-old Raducanu became the first qualifier in the Open Era to win a major and become the first British woman to win a Slam since Virginia Wade in 1977 when she defeated Leylah Fernandez of Canada on Sunday (September 12 – IST).
Since winning her 20th consecutive set in New York, she’s done the talk show rounds with Good Morning America, paid a visit to the New York Stock Exchange and been invited by Chanel to the most exclusive part of the year at the Met Gala.
“It still hasn’t really sunk in, but occasionally I’ll remember that I won the US Open,” Raducanu told WTA Insider about her new-found success on Wednesday.
“I feel great. Everything that’s happened in the last 72 hours has been so much fun and really exciting. It’s been busy, but I can’t complain at all because I’ve just been having such an amazing time and experience in New York. I’ve got some amazing opportunities and I’m just really grateful to be able to do the things I’ve been doing. I’m just really happy.”
The teenager said that as a youngster she didn’t know all these “amazing opportunities” existed off-court.
“When I was younger I never imagined that all of the amazing opportunities off the court existed. When I was younger and I watched older players win Slams, that was just the dream, the Slam on its own, the achievement, sharing it with the team and relatives and friends. But it’s just an added bonus, isn’t it, all of the really cool things you get to do.
“I think for me, still, I cherish the most the moments with the team after the Grand Slam win. I think that was probably the most special night ever, when we were reflecting and just chatting about the last three weeks, the trip, and it was just a really nice moment to have shared with everyone,” said the British player, whose father is Romanian and mother Chinese and was born in Canada.
Raducanu said that coming into the US Open, she was simply hungry for success and that coming back after keeping away from the competitive sport for 18 months due to the pandemic was tough.
“I was hungry. Having 18 months away from the sport, coming out you play every match like you don’t know when your last match will be. That was how I was approaching the whole summer. I was so grateful to be back on the match court competing again and the joy and satisfaction that I was getting from the improvements I was seeing with every match was spurring me on, building every time, every match. And then I played some of the best tennis of my life at the end of the seven weeks.
“But the biggest thing is that I never once got ahead of myself. For three weeks I just played the opponent in front of me, I took care of what I wanted to try and achieve on that day against that opponent, and just repeated it for three weeks. I played some really great tennis against some extremely tough opponents and faced a lot of adversity despite the fact that I didn’t drop a set. Those sets could have gone either way, a lot of them, because they were very tight games and the margins are so small.”