Raducanu’s dominant performance, Fernandez’s will and more

The Insider Wrap is a recap of everything you need to know from that week. This week, WTA Insider looks back at the 2021 US Open, which will go down as one of the most intense two weeks in tennis the sport has seen in recent years. From remarkable comebacks to the junior finals that produced history-making champions, the US Open 2021 is a tournament we won’t soon forget.

Tournament Performance: Emma Raducanu

It’s been 48 hours since 18-year-old Emma Raducanu fell to the ground in disbelief at Arthur Ashe Stadium after completing a stunning and historic run to the US Open title. Having just finished her studies earlier this year, she played her first WTA event three months ago and qualified for the US Open without a major draw on the WTA Tour. (Her professional wins have all come at Wimbledon or at lower levels.) Raducanu has yet to face a Top 40 opponent.

Maybe experience is overrated.

READ: Emma Raducanu’s inevitable run

150th, Raducanu has missed 10 games in a row – three in qualifying and seven in the main draw – became the first qualified in the Open Era to win the US Open title. She ended Britain’s decades-long women’s singles title drought and is the youngest woman to win a major since 17-year-old Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004.

Raducanu’s triple-digit rise in the standings puts her at 23rd and 14th in the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals. With heaps of points still in the fall – Indian Wells will play a major role in the WTA Finals qualifiers – can Raducanu make it into the stunning Top 10? A month ago, she thought her A-math achievement would be the highlight of her 2021. Now? The sky is the limit.

Social Buzz: Halep, Roddick, Royals lead cheers for Raducanu after US Open win

Surprise of the tournament: Leylah Fernandez

On paper and match after game on the showcase stage that is Ashe Stadium, no one performed better in the face of adversity and competition than Canada’s Leylah Fernandez. The 19-year-old has not won in major draws since winning her first title in Monterrey in March. She is sitting at 73rd at the start of the US Open.

Then Fernandez started knocking down the seed. To the naked eye, Fernandez looks fit and experienced in every game she plays in New York. But she did come face to face with the tour’s most famous people. She clinched wins over Ana Konjuh, Kaia Kanepi, last year’s champions Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka, as well as the game’s top grinders, Angelique Kerber and Elina Svitolina.

Read: Why Fernandez’s dad doesn’t have a ticket to the US Open final

In total, Fernandez defeated three of the top five players. You’d be hard pressed to find a tougher route to a major final in recent years.

Read: How Fernandez Won New York’s Heart at the US Open

Fernandez’s output eventually caught up to hers in the final against Raducanu, and while Fernandez fought and tried to knock Raducanu out of her rhythm, the British never doubted and never blinked. . Raducanu was the better player that day, but there is an argument to be made that Fernandez had the better league.


Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai: The US Open doubles champions reunite after a long break due to Covid and the Olympics, and the duo can’t stop winning. Stosur and Zhang won the Western & Southern title, their third career title, in an attempt to save match points, then go on to their second major title, beat Coco Gauff and Caty McNally in the US Open final.

Champion Corner: How the US Open title will silence the retirement talk around Stosur and Zhang

Maria Sakkari: The Greek star should focus on how her New York plays out in two weeks rather than how it ends. She knocked out three Top 10 seeds Petra Kvitova, Bianca Andreescu and Karolina Pliskova to reach the second Slam semi-final of the season. Her win over Andreescu was a memorable display. Sakkari’s win over Pliskova was a serve. She will be frustrated by her inability to shake off the stresses and play at her best against Raducanu, where she lost 6-1, 6-4, but she leaves New York in 6th place on the Race Rankings. Porsche.

Leaderboard: Raducanu and Fernandez soar as Hsieh reclaims number 1 doubles

Shelby Rogers and Ashleigh Barty: Arthur Ashe Stadium was home to a rowdy crowd nearly every night, and Rogers and Barty played their part in the third round. The world No. 1 showed up to turn the tide and served the match with a 5-2, split, in the third round before faltering. Rogers steered the wave and made a comeback unlikely, playing a tactically perfect decisive tiebreak to win 8-6 in the third inning.

But what puts the duo on the list is what happens after the game. The mutual admiration the women expressed in the press room was a recognition of their sportsmanship, friendship and thoughtfulness. After the tournament, the USTA awarded Barty the 2021 US Open Athlete.

Karolina Pliskova: The Czechs will have to scratch their heads over what happened to Sakkari in the quarterfinals, where she played a fair game to lose 6-4, 6-4. Then again, Pliskova had no business there in the first place. The fourth seed was knocked down by Amanda Anisimova in the second round before escaping to win 7-5, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7). Pliskova has championship ambitions in New York, but her past four tournaments are as good as anyone: Wimbledon final, Montreal finalist, Cincinnati champion, US Open quarterfinal.

News: WTA Finals will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico

Iga Swiatek: This 20-year-old made it to the first round of 16 of the US Open and has accomplished what no one else in the tournament has done this season by reaching the fourth round or better in all four majors. Swiatek’s 8th ranking may be bolstered by her 2020 Roland Garros score, but it’s worth noting that she sits at 5th on the Porsche Races Rankings, counting only points earned gets into 2021. High-achieving Swiatek can drop her rank at times, but she’s having a remarkable sophomore season. There is no drop here.

Belinda Bencic: The Olympic gold medalist shows no signs of stopping since Tokyo reached the quarterfinals of the US Open with impressive wins over Jessica Pegula and Iga Swiatek. The quiet shake of her head as she left the field after losing 6-3, 6-4 to Raducanu summed up her missed opportunity to mark the summer with her first major title.

Simona Halep: If you told the former No. 1 at the start of the summer sweltering season that she was going to the second week of the US Open after all the traumatic crashes and rust concerns, she’d think you are joking. Halep has been bitten by snakes time and again in New York, but this year she scored a stunning win over Montreal champions Camila Giorgi and Elena Rybakina before bowing to Elina Svitolina in the round of 16.

Sloane Stephens: The results make sense, but don’t let them obscure the player’s level. Stephens continued the trend, and given how the tournament went, it’s hard not to wonder what would have happened if the 2018 champions hadn’t had the tournament’s toughest first three rounds. Stephens’ 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7) win over Madison Keys in the tournament’s first game at Ashe Stadium set the tone for the event. Next, she won consecutive sets against Coco Gauff and lost 3 tough sets to Kerber.

Aryna Sabalenka: The world No 2 reached her second consecutive Slam semi-final with such ease that it’s easy to forget that just three months ago, she still hadn’t made it to the quarterfinals. The final game to overtake Fernandez in the semi-finals will cause some sleepless nights, but the 23-year-old should feel reassured that going deep at a Slam is no longer the daunting endeavor it used to be.

Desirae Krawczyk: The Americans teamed up with England’s Joe Salisbury to win the third mixed doubles title of the season, putting her alongside a list of big names:

Notable numbers

0: Number of three-set matches Emma Raducanu has played on the WTA Tour or Slams.

2014: Before Raducanu, the last time a female tennis player won the US Open women’s singles without losing a set (Serena Williams).

2: Matches at the US Open 2021 set the tournament’s longest match record. Both matches lasted for 3 hours and 40 minutes and took place on the same night: Elise Mertens d. Rebecca Peterson 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5), and Rebeka Masarova d. Ana Bogdan 6-7 (9), 7-6 (2), 7-6 (9).

6: Match point saved by Mertens against Peterson. The Belgian went on to reach the fourth consecutive Round of 16 in New York.

4: Consecutive win in 3 sets of Leylah Fernandez to reach the US Open final. She beat 3rd seed Osaka, 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4, 16th seed Kerber, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2, 5th seed Svitolina 6- 3 , 3-6, 7-6 (5) and number 2 Sabalenka 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4.

24: Karolina Pliskova defeated Karolina Pliskova in her match point-saving win over Amanda Anisimova in the second round, setting a new tournament record for most aces in a women’s singles match at the US Open, to New and greatest personal achievement on tour in 2021 .

22: Maria Sakkari’s streak of consecutive service points won in a 6-4, 6-4 quarter-final win over Pliskova.

84: It took a few minutes for Belinda Bencic to win the first set against Iga Swiatek, 7-6 (12) in their tense clash in Round 16.

first: Number of players who won five games in a match off Emma Raducanu in New York. Georgia’s No.190 Mariam Bolkadze came closest to knocking out Raducanu, losing 6-3, 7-5 in the second round of qualifying.


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