US Open Review
By Jack Davies for Surrey Tennis
By now everyone in the tennis world is well acquainted with Emma Raducanu and all she has achieved in 2021. After winning the US Open, she is the new British women’s number one. Her inspired run from the qualifiers to the trophy has catapulted her from world number 150 to number 23 (though she has since gone up to number 22 without playing this week).
Raducanu’s victory at the US open has broken records left and centre, to name just a few:
She is the first British woman to win a Grand Slam in 44 years (since Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977)
She is the first qualifier to ever win a Grand Slam in both the ATP and WTA tours
At 18 years old she is the youngest Grand Slam winner since Maria Sharapova in 2004 (and the youngest British player to ever win one!)
The final was a nail biter between Raducanu and Canadian Leylah Fernandez – it was the all-teenage final many of us hoped for – but didn’t really expect. Ranked 150 and 73 respectively, they both played beat higher ranked and more experienced opponents on their way to the final. Fernandez bested many famous faces including Osaka, Kerber, Svitolina and Sabalenka. Raducanu also saw off stiff competition in Shuai, Sorribes Tormo, Rogers, this year’s Gold medallist Bencic and one my favourites, Maria Sakkari.
This year’s US open has been one of Britain’s most successful Grand Slams as alongside Raducanu is Surrey’s own Joe Salisbury who won his second mixed doubles slam of the year with Desirae Krawczyk. Salisbury also won the men’s doubles event with his partner Rajeev Ram won by narrowly edging fellow Brit Jamie Murray and his Brazilian partner Bruno Soares.
Elsewhere Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid completed their calendar year Grand Slam in men’s wheelchair doubles by claiming the title in all four major tournaments. Hewett was beaten in his singles final by defending champion Shingo Kunieda, while Reid was knocked out in the semi-finals.
The success of British players was celebrated on BBC in a special homecoming broadcast. Be sure to check it on iPlayer from if you missed it!
Outside of the British success, viewers saw unprecedented scenes of stress and emotion from Novak Djokovic as he was outclassed by Daniil Medvedev in the men’s singles final. Djokovic was on track to complete his first ever Calendar Grand Slam and was hoping to join the ranks of Don Budge, Rod Laver, Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court and Steffi Graf as singles champions who won all the major championships in one year. Unfortunately for Djokovic, 2021 was not his year. Instead, Medvedev won his first Grand Slam title at the third time of asking – and on his 3rd wedding anniversary!
I have no doubt that Djokovic will be back to try again in 2022, but maybe 2021 really was his best chance to win a Calendar Grand Slam.
Though that’s the last Grand Slam tournament of 2021, we still have a bit more tennis to look forward to. Indian Wells was rescheduled from March 2021 to October and will kick off on the 4th, so tune in – after all it’s not too late for Raducanu to qualify for the WTA Finals in Mexico…
Written for Surrey Tennis by Jack Davies.