Emma Raducanu is 18 years old, made her WTA Tour main draw event debut in June and has appeared in two Grand Slam tournaments.
And now she's won one of them.
The burgeoning Great Britain star won the U.S. Open final on Saturday, besting 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3.
It cannot be overstated how shocking her win was on Saturday. Raducanu immediately enters the realm of all-time incredible Cinderella stories in sports history.
Gary Lineker 💙 @GaryLineker
First time in my life I’ve ever tweeted whilst on air but my goodness what a performance, what a triumph, what an amazing young woman. Congratulations <a href="https://twitter.com/EmmaRaducanu?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EmmaRaducanu</a> on a truly staggering achievement. US Open winner at 18 without losing a set. Extraordinarily fabulous. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
Rob Harris @RobHarris
Emma Raducanu has to be the greatest most unexpected British sporting success of all time. <br>From the qualifying rounds to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/usopen?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#usopen</a> glory without dropping a set in 10 matches.<br><br>And incredibly her first WTA tour title at 18 is a Grand Slam
Raducanu didn't just win the U.S. Open—she dominated it in an unprecedented fashion. She didn't lose a set, winning 20 in a row, and breezed through opponents with brisk, ruthless efficiency.
Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg
At an hour and 25 minutes, this became the longest match Raducanu has played in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USOpen?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USOpen</a> main draw.<br><br>Lolz. <br><br>This is the most absurd tournament anyone has ever had, let's be real.
Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg
Raducanu's record, relentless <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USOpen?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USOpen</a> run:<br><br>Q1 d. Schoofs 6-1, 6-2<br>Q2 d. Bolkvadze 6-3, 7-5<br>Q3 d. Sherif 6-1, 6-4<br><br>R1 d. Voegele 6-2, 6-3<br>R2 d. Zhang 6-2, 6-4<br>R3 d. Sorribes Tormo 6-0, 6-1<br>R4 d. Rogers 6-2, 6-1<br>QF d. Bencic 6-3, 6-4<br>SF d. Sakkari 6-1, 6-4<br>F d. Fernandez 6-4, 6-3
Raducanu is hardly the youngest women's player to ever win a Grand Slam. Martina Hingis (1997), Monica Seles (1990) and Tracy Austin (1979) all did so as 16-year-olds, but in the era of Serena Williams' dominance, younger players breaking through became a rarity.
Of the youth movement to recently pull off the feat—Bianca Andreescu (2019 U.S. Open) and Iga Swiatek (2020 French Open) were each 19, Naomi Osaka (2018 U.S. Open) was 20 and Sofia Kenin (2020 Australian Open) was 21—Raducanu might be the most unlikely.
She came into the U.S. Open ranked 150th in the world and had to go through three qualifier matches. Again, she made her WTA debut in June.
Oh, and she became the first British woman to win the U.S. Open since 1968 (Virginia Wade) and the first British woman to win any Grand Slam title since Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.
There's no doubt that tennis has a new young star. Two, really, considering that Fernandez knocked off No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, No. 3 defending champ Naomi Osaka and No. 5 Elina Svitolina to reach the final.
The future might belong to both of these young players. Saturday, though, belonged to Raducanu, a champion nobody predicted but one who not soon be forgotten.