From Bromley to Broadway – this city had Emma Raducanu’s name up in lights last night after sensationally becoming the new US Open champion.
She completed her astonishing journey from London’s far suburbs to global fame and fortune when she overcame Canada’s Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 over a pulsating hour and 51 minutes.
The 24,000-seater Arthur Ashe Stadium erupted as she sent down an ace on a third match point following an agonising hiatus. A cut knee was attended to after she grazed it in a despairing lunge to the harsh concrete at 30-30 while she tried to serve it out.
Fernandez, tearful at the end, was unhappy in the moment at the length of time taken of the medical timeout. However, with blood running down her opponent’s shin there was little alternative but to properly dress it.
The Canadian created another break point after the resumption at 30-40 but, showing Zen-like calm, Raducanu worked her way to a third match point that was sealed with one last serve that flew past her flailing backhand.
Staggeringly, nobody took a set off the soaring British star from start to finish, with this encounter of supremely high quality the stiffest examination.
Raducanu becomes Britain’s first women’s Grand Slam champion since another Kent-based player, the watching Virginia Wade, won Wimbledon in the Jubilee year of 1977.