11 Sep Emma Raducanu: ‘We will all be rooting for you’ – Duchess of Cambridge wishes teenage British tennis ace the ‘best of luck’ ahead of US Open final | UK News
The Duchess of Cambridge and prime minister are among those to congratulate and send good luck wishes to young British tennis ace Emma Raducanu after she reached the US Open final.
The high-profile praise came after the 18-year-old defied the odds to defeat Maria Sakkari of Greece in straight sets.
In doing so, Raducanu became the first qualifier in history to reach a grand slam final – and the youngest since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 when she was 17.
She is also the first British woman to reach the final at Flushing Meadows since Virginia Wade won the title 53 years ago.
In a message, sent on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official Twitter account, Kate, a keen tennis fan and patron of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, said: “What an incredible achievement at this year’s #USOpen @EmmaRaducanu!”
Including a fingers crossed emoji, it continued: “We will all be rooting for you tomorrow”, and added: “Wishing you the best of luck!”
The tweet was signed off “C”, the initial of the duchess’s full name, Catherine.
The prime minister also joined in the praise of the young tennis player.
Mr Johnson tweeted: “Well done @EmmaRaducanu for a brilliant win at the #USOpen. The whole country will be cheering you on in the final.”
Posting on her Twitter account after her semi-final victory, Raducanu wrote: “Pure happiness under the lights in New York.”
Speaking on court after her win, Raducanu said: “I knew I had some sort of level inside of me that was similar to these girls, but I didn’t know if I was able to maintain it over a set or over two sets.
“To be able to do it and play the best players in the world and beat them, I honestly can’t believe it.”
She added: “It’s been extremely difficult because they always fight, they have so much experience which they use. I’m just so, so proud to have come through very tough moments in all of my matches.
“It means a lot to be here in this situation. I wanted obviously to be playing Grand Slams, but I didn’t know how soon that would be. To be in a Grand Slam final at this stage of my career… I have no words.”
When asked about her chances in the final, she joked: “Is there any expectation? I’m a qualifier so technically there’s no pressure on me.”
Other famous names to hail the teenager’s achievement, included Liam Gallagher and broadcaster Piers Morgan.
The former Oasis singer tweeted: “Can u dig it congratulations to Emma Raducanu c’mon LG.”
Former Good Morning Britain presenter Morgan shared a photograph on Twitter of Raducanu celebrating her semi-final victory with the message: “WOW! @EmmaRaducanu.”
Can u dig it congratulations to Emma Raducanu c’mon LG
— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) September 10, 2021
Thursday night’s stunning 6-1 6-4 win means just one match stands between Raducanu and one of the most extraordinary achievements in tennis history.
It is also now going to be an all-teenager final in the US Open. Raducanu is set to face Canada’s Leylah Fernandez, who only turned 19 this week, on Saturday.
Raducanu is currently ranked 150 while Fernandez is ranked 73 – and this is set to be the first major final between two teenagers since a 17-year-old Serena Williams defeated Martina Hingis, also in the US Open, in 1999.
In the run-up to the semi-final, Raducanu had said that she didn’t expect to advance so far at all – so much so that her flights home had been booked at the end of qualifying.
Raducanu was ranked outside of the top 350 in June, but now she is projected to rise to at least 51 in the world on Monday – and potentially even further after this latest win.
That will make her the British number one ahead of Johanna Konta and Heather Watson.
Jo Durie, the last British woman to reach the US Open semi-final back in 1983, is now predicting big things for Raducanu’s future.
She said: “[Emma has] got such a good solid game – she can hit the ball hard at the right time, and her serve stands up under pressure.
“She works very hard at her game and with all of that behind her, for me it points to her being consistently up there in the future.”