Kent’s Radacanu crowned US Open champion
Kent’s Radacanu crowned US Open champion

Kent’s Emma Raducanu has become the first British woman in 44 years to win a Grand Slam singles title.

The 18-year-old from Bromley overpowered Leylah Fernandez, a 19-year-old from Canada – winning 6-4 6-3 in the US Open final.

Their showdown lasted an hour and 51 minutes, and was the first major tennis final between two teenagers in 22 years.

Saturday night’s match had a dramatic finale as┬áRadacanu was forced to have a medical time out after skidding on the court and grazing her leg as she raced to return a ball – much to the annoyance of Fernandez.

Speaking on court after the match, the British tennis sensation praised her opponent – and expressed hope that they will play in many more tournaments and finals in the future.

She told the crowd: “Thank you to everyone here in New York – thank you all for making me feel so at home from my first qualifying match all the way to the final. I’ve loved playing in front of you and you’ve really spurred me on in some difficult moments.”

Raducanu was presented with the trophy by American tennis legend Billie Jean King, as Virginia Wade and Tim Henman cheered on.

“Just to have such British legends and icons for me to follow in their footsteps, it definitely helps and gave me the belief that I could actually do it,” she said.

It is an extraordinary, unprecedented achievement for Raducanu, who came into the US Open ranked 150th in the world.

She didn’t drop a set during the entire tournament, playing a total of 10 matches including three in qualifying.