Emma Raducanu: British teen wins US Open
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Emma Raducanu made history as she achieved the seemingly-impossible, winning the US Open as a qualifier. The 18-year-old became the first player in history to reach a Grand Slam final having come through qualifying, and went one better by lifting the trophy. The Brit will now shoot up the rankings, going from world No 150 to world No 23, but would be set to lose some of her US Open ranking points if she could replicate her success and defend the title in New York next year.
Raducanu reeled off an impressive list of accomplishments by winning the US Open title on Saturday night at Flushing Meadows.
The Bromley teenager became the first British woman since Virginia Wade to win a Grand Slam title in 44 years, and the first in 53 years to win the US Open.
She is also the first qualifier in history to make a Major final, and the first in the Open Era to win one in just her second-ever Grand Slam appearance.
Three months ago, the 18-year-old was completing her A Levels and sat at a low ranking of No 338 in the world, but her sensational US Open win will see her rise to world No 23.
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Regardless of how Raducanu’s career pans out for the next 12 months, she is guaranteed to return to Flushing Meadows as the defending champion and the woman to beat in 2022.
However, in a bizarre rankings rule, the Brit is set to lose ranking points no matter what following next year’s edition of the tournament, even if she is able to win a second successive US Open.
With Raducanu now up at No 23 in the world with barely any points to defend until Wimbledon 2022, she can only continue to build on her ranking and will certainly not need to qualify for the tournament in New York next year.
While it can only be a good thing that the Brit can how earn direct entry into the highest-level tournaments, there is a catch-22 meaning she will not be able to defend the full number of points earned from her recent exploits in Flushing Meadows.
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Coming through three rounds of qualifying to make the US Open main-draw, Raducanu earned 40 ranking points even before officially starting her campaign for the title.
All players receive 2000 ranking points for winning a Grand Slam, making them the most lucrative tournaments in tennis, but the 18-year-old was able to break the record for the number of points won in a single tournament, as she managed to nab 2040 thanks to her three extra qualifying matches.
It does mean that, even if she defends her US Open title come 2022, she can only lose points when playing in the next edition of the tournament.
With a title win next year, Raducanu would win 2000 points rather than 2040.
It’s not all bad news though, as the teenager could actually pick up 210 additional points by playing an extra WTA tournament in the week before the US Open, where this year she was forced to spend the time in New York attempting to qualify for the tournament.
With the week now freed up in the champion’s 2022 calendar, she would be able to enter one of the WTA 250 tournaments held in the seven days before the final Major of the year, and could pick up 250 ranking points by winning the title.
The rankings work on a 52-week system, meaning Raducanu could potentially earn as many as 2250 points in the same three-week span that saw her gain 2040 this year.
However, the teenage sensation is not focusing on the future just yet and is happy to enjoy the moment, with no current plans for future tournaments.
“I definitely think it’s the time to just switch off from any future thoughts or any plans, any schedule. I’ve got absolutely no clue. Right now, no care in the world, I’m just loving life” she said in her post-match press conference.
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