Emma Raducanu lifting the trophy at the US Open

Emma Raducanu celebrates in New York after her victory at the US Open

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18-year-old Emma Raducanu took home the trophy at the US Open final in New York after beating her opponent Leylah Fernandez in straight sets.

Updated 13 September: Celebrities, sportspeople and fans alike have taken to Twitter to congratulate Emma Raducanu for her win at the US Open final.

Raducanu beat her opponent, Leylah Fernandez, in straight sets at New York’s Arthur Ashe stadium on Saturday (11 September), making her the first woman to win the US Open without dropping a set since Serena Williams’ victory in 2014.

Alongside congratulations from the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Raducanu has received well-wishes from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and England footballer Marcus Rashford

She also received messages from fellow tennis players Heather Watson, Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, the latter of whom wrote: “A star is born – Emma Raducanu makes history – never has a qualifier won a major – men or women – and she is just getting started. And will never have to qualify again.” 

She continued: “Leylah Fernandez will be back – both are champions but Emma has the trophy. Well done!”

And during an appearance on BBC Breakfast, Virginia Wade, who was the last British woman to win a major singles title at Wimbledon in 1997, added: “I’m just so thrilled that someone as good as Emma has come along and taken the world by absolute storm and just been brilliant.

“She has played really well the whole tournament. She’s dismantled her opponents. She has got the attributes that you need to make a champion.” 

While Raducanu has been mostly lying low since the post-match interviews she delivered on Saturday evening, she has taken to Instagram a couple of times to celebrate her win – once, to share a photo of her with the trophy, and today, to share a billboard of herself she stumbled upon while sightseeing in New York.

“Never thought I would see this…” she wrote alongside the video, which shows her looking up at the billboard in disbelief. “Coolest thing.” 

As reported 12 September: Emma Raducanu has claimed victory at the US Open, becoming the first British woman to win a Grand Slam title in 44 years. The 18-year-old – who beat her opponent Leylah Fernandez in straight sets – also became the first qualifier to capture a Grand Slam title.

In short, Raducanu’s victory in New York is nothing short of incredible – especially when you consider the fact that she only played her first grand slam at Wimbledon this summer, where she entered as a wildcard and made it to the last 16.

But despite all of the incredible shots she made to claim victory last night (11 September), Raducanu says her “biggest triumph” from the final wasn’t to do with her tennis at all.  

Speaking during the post-match press conference, she explained: “I think the biggest triumph for me is how I managed to just not think of absolutely anything else except from my game plan and what I was going to execute, you know. I didn’t really think of anything other than what was going on on the tennis court.”

She continued: “I just completely zoned in and focused on my craft, and when I was on the tennis court it was just business as usual you know, focusing on the plays – and that’s the biggest thing that I’m proud of. I think that’s definitely the biggest thing that has probably helped me to win this title.” 

However, it wasn’t just during the match that Raducanu resolved to stay in the moment. Responding to a question about how she felt about becoming such a star, she admitted that she hadn’t yet checked her phone – and that she didn’t plan on getting caught up in thoughts about what might come next.

“I have absolutely no idea what’s going on outside of our little world that we’re in here,” she told reporters. “We’ve just been in the quiet room just enjoying the moment and taking it all in.” 

She continued: “I’ve not even thought about when I’m going home, I’ve got no idea what I’m doing tomorrow. I’m just really trying to embrace the moment and really take it all in, and I think it’s definitely the time to just switch off from any future thoughts and from any plans, any schedule. I’ve got absolutely no clue and right now no care in the world – I’m just loving life.”

Knowing the pressure that female athletes in the spotlight often face, it’s great to see Raducanu doing things on her own terms and allowing herself to enjoy the moment.

Congratulations, Emma! 

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.