"It means everything to hold this trophy and I don't want to let go right now," - Emma Raducanu

Sunday, 12 September 2021 - 18:21

%22It+means+everything+to+hold+this+trophy+and+I+don%27t+want+to+let+go+right+now%2C%22+-+Emma+Raducanu
Emma Raducanu says she does not want to let go of the US Open trophy after her fairytale in New York culminated in the ultimate happy ending.

"It means everything to hold this trophy and I don't want to let go right now," she told former British number one Tim Henman on Amazon Prime.

"Yesterday there were weird feelings I couldn't put my finger on - I think that's just normal. When I came out it was business as usual, one point at a time.

Chatty, bubbly and unfailingly polite, Raducanu is comfortable in the spotlight, as her interviews have proved. So too have the scenes of her interacting with fans in New York after her victories, enjoyment etched across her face as she poses for every selfie asked.

"I had to fight hard for that first set and keep myself ahead in the second. In the key moments, I came out with some clutch serves."

Her sensational run at Flushing Meadows has captured the imagination of the public and she hopes her victory allows others to dream big.

"I've always dreamed of winning a Grand Slam"
"I've always dreamed of winning a Grand Slam. You just say these things. But to have the belief I did, and actually winning, I can't believe it," she said.

"I first started when I was a little girl, but I think the biggest thing that you have visions of is the winning moment, and going to celebrate with your team, trying to find your way up to the box.

"That's been playing in my head, like, a couple of nights. I've fallen asleep to that."

The victory over Canada's Leylah Fernandez caps a remarkable rise for Raducanu, who only made her WTA main draw debut in June.

She was playing in just her second Grand Slam, having reached the fourth round of Wimbledon as a wildcard earlier this year.

Raducanu is the youngest female major champion since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 and the youngest Briton ever to win a Slam title.

Recovers from a nasty fall
She recovered from a nasty fall at 5-3 while she served for the match, saving two break points from the relentless Fernandez before converting her third championship point.

"I fell somehow and thought that would throw me off balance - I was praying not for a double fault!" Raducanu said.

"The level was extremely high and I hope we play each other in many more tournaments and hopefully finals."

Raducanu came through 10 matches to win the title, including three qualifying rounds, and beat Olympic champion Belinda Bencic and in-form Maria Sakkari in the quarter and semi-finals respectively.

"For me, I don't feel absolutely any pressure. I'm still only 18 and I'm just having a free swing at anything that comes my way," she said.

"That's how I faced every match here in the States. Yeah, it got me this trophy, so I don't think I should change anything."

Queen praises Emma Raducanu's "outstanding" US Open victory
The Queen has praised Emma Raducanu's "outstanding" US Open victory on Saturday, calling it a "remarkable achievement."

In a letter, Queen Elizabeth II sent her congratulations to the tennis superstar after she clinched the historic grand slam title.

"It is a remarkable achievement at such a young age, and is testament to your hard work and dedication," she wrote. "I have no doubt your outstanding performance, and that of your opponent Leylah Fernandez, will inspire the next generation of tennis players. I send my warmest good wishes to you and your many supporters."

"It still hasn't sunk in because after the match, I haven't really had a moment to just stop and just embrace everything that's just happened," she explained.

"But I can't wait to just really sink in with my team tonight and enjoy and celebrate and then when I get back home, to see everyone back home. It's been seven weeks away now so to go home now, I'm just really excited to see my family and friends.


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