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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday December 6, 2020


The 2021 US Open was mind-blowing on so many levels. Even if it began under a bit of a dark cloud, with Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal all skipping the event – surely a sign of the end of an era.

Tennis Express

There was still plenty of excitement ahead of the New York fortnight, much of it due to Novak Djokovic’s quest for the calendar Slam, but on the women’s side nobody could have expected the wild ride that two teenage finalists would take us on.

2021 in Review: Significant ATP Milestones | Djokovic's Incredible Statistical Achievements

When it was all said and done we would end up with one of the most incredible moments, not just of the tennis season, but of the tennis century. Emma Raducanu, an 18-year-old qualifier with six tour-level main draw matches to her name before the tournament started, and Leylah Fernandez, promising but still so green as the tournament started, just days shy of her 19th birthday.

In the United States, more viewers tuned into the women's final than the men's final which featured Novak Djokovic's hunt for the calendar Slam, and in the UK, the viewership was more than twice as high and 48 percent of all people aged 16-34 watched parts of the final. Afterwards, we learned that the name Raducanu was trending hotter than Djokovic in Google searches.


If you strip away the superlatives, and ignore the shocking nature of the fortnight,  the numbers still make it easy to understand why the 2021 US Open women’s singles final will stand the test of time as one of the most improbable and mesmerizing finals in women’s tennis history.

Let’s have a look at ten statistics that tell the story of this remarkable moment for women's tennis:

1. Raducanu becomes the first qualifier to ever win a Grand Slam singles title.

2. Raducanu and Fernandez played the first all-teenager Slam final since 1999. Serena Williams and Martina Hingis played the 1999 US Open women’s singles final, during an era where Slam success for teenagers was much more likely.
3. Raducanu and Fernandez’s clash marked the first time two unseeded players had ever met in a Grand Slam final.

4. Raducanu become youngest Slam champion since Sharapova at 2004 Wimbledon.

5. Raducanu first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Virginia Wade in 1977 and first British woman to win US Open crown since 1968 Wade.

6. At 150, Raducanu was the lowest-ranked US Open champion ever (besides unranked Kim Clijsters).

7. Raducanu joined Pam Shriver as one of two players to have ever played a Grand Slam final with less than three major singles main draw appearances to her name. No player had ever won a major singles Grand Slam title with less than four Slam appearances to their name in Open Era History (Monica Seles won Roland-Garros on her fourth main draw appearance at a major).

8. The combined ranking of 223 was the highest ever between two Grand Slam finalists (Raducanu 150 plus Fernandez 73).

9. Raducanu became the youngest US Open champion since Serena Williams in 1999.

10. Raducanu won her first major title before she had ever won a main draw match at a WTA-level (250, 500,1000) tournament. She would win her first WTA match at Cluj-Napoca in October, defeating Polana Hercog in three sets.

 

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