It wasn’t just the spectators in attendance at Flushing Meadows who were on the edge of their seats on Saturday night. The world held its breath as a tense final between two teenagers played out at the US Open.
But after two sets, it would be Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu who would clinch the win and break numerous tennis records.
The unseeded rookie beat Leylah Fernandez of Canada after an exhilarating 6-4, 6-3 performance at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in just her second ever Grand Slam tournament.
Raducanu made history as she stepped onto the court as the first British woman to reach a major final since Virginia Wade 44 years ago.
The 18-year-old was also the first ever qualifier, male or female, to feature in the final of a Grand Slam in the Open Era.
Raducanu did not drop a single set throughout her entire US Open campaign.
Raducanu took a 2-0 lead in the first set but the resilient Fernandez upped the pressure with her deft drop shots and powerful slices to nullify the Brit.
Nothing could separate the two as the set reached a 4-4 tie before Raducanu pulled it back to take a 6-4 win.
The second set was just as intense, with neither player allowing each other breathing space with their relentless rallies. But an inspired burst from Raducanu to come from behind sealed the win and the Brit’s first ever Grand Slam title.
It took Fernandez 12 hours and 45 minutes to reach the US Open final and her opponent just seven hours and 42 minutes.
Raducanu’s inspirational victory marks the start of a new era for British tennis.