On Saturday night, under the bright lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium, two teenage tennis stars stole the hearts and captured the imaginations of sports fans across the world.
Leylah Annie Fernandez, the recently-turned 19-year-old from Montreal, and 18-year-old British phenom Emma Raducanu faced off the US Open women’s singles final after simultaneously breaking onto the scene in New York.
Fernandez entered the tournament ranked 73rd in the world, and defeated world No. 3 Naomi Osaka, three-time grand slam winner Angelique Kerber, world No. 5 Elina Svitolina and world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka to reach the final.
Raducanu, who entered the tournament ranked 150th, became the first qualifier to win a major title in the professional era after bulldozing through the tournament without losing a single set.
The future of tennis is bright.
From former tennis stars to Queen Elizabeth II, here are some of the best reactions.
what a tennis match
— William Nylander (@wmnylander) September 11, 2021
These two young women are a gift to tennis. An absolute gift.
— andyroddick (@andyroddick) September 11, 2021
— Vasek Pospisil (@VasekPospisil) September 11, 2021
— Milos Raonic (@milosraonic) September 11, 2021
Well done Emma Raducanu, the first of many duels with Leylah Fernandez. I’ve no doubt many more majors await for both of you. Another historic moment at the #USOpen – congratulations
— Rod Laver (@rodlaver) September 11, 2021
What a glorious day for two remarkable young women. Yes, it may be ‘only’ sport, but in that ‘only’ there can be found so much of human joy, despair, glory, disappointment, wonder and hope. A brief flicker of light in a dark world. #EmmaRaducanu #LeylahFernandez #USOpenFinal
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) September 11, 2021
‘I have no doubt your outstanding performance, and that of your opponent Leylah Fernandez, will inspire the next generation of tennis players.’
Read The Queen’s message to @EmmaRaducanu in full: https://t.co/m5lxaH7kKi pic.twitter.com/aFSaCisDC0
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 11, 2021
What a run for Leylah Fernandez, the future is so so bright for the Canadian. That was so fun to watch. Also, Raducanu’s tournament was absurd, never lost a set.
Women’s tennis, man #USOpen2021
— Michael Fenton (@MFents) September 11, 2021
From qualifier to champion.
Congrats to Emma Raducanu, at 18-years-old, the #USOpen champion.
An INCREDIBLE run by Leylah Fernandez and a hell of a performance in the final.
The best is yet to come .
— Caroline Cameron (@SNCaroline) September 11, 2021