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Emma Raducanu has made history.
Not only is she the first British female tennis player to win the US Open for more than 40 years (since Virginia Wade in 1977), she is also the first ever player to win the prestigious tournament after having to play qualifier matches to get through to the Grand Slam.
The 18-year-old, (also the youngest winner for 17 years), didn't lose a set during her exhilarating winning final against Canada's Leylah Fernandez on September 11, 2021, during what was one of the most exciting Ladies tennis finals in recent memory.
Naturally, the Bromely-based teenager - who only completed her A-Levels three months ago, and now is the recipient of a $2.5 million paycheque from the New York-based competition, and has woken up to 1.2 million Instagram followers - has won praise, respect and congratulations from up and down the county and across the globe, including from the most high-profile of fans:
Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge
The tennis aficionado took to Instagram to personally sign off a congratulatory message to Raducanu on her 'stunning performance', saying 'we are all so proud' of the new title-holder.
Queen Elizabeth II issued a statement in the aftermath of Raducanu's win, which said:
I send my congratulations to you on your success in winning the United States Open Tennis Championships. It is a remarkable achievement at such a young age, and is testament to your hard work and dedication. I have no doubt your outstanding performance, and that of your opponent Leylah Fernandez, will inspire the next generation of tennis players. I send my warmest good wishes to you and your many supporters.
The message was signed off 'Elizabeth R'.
Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas
The couple - and notable tennis fans, often seen in the crowd of the US Open - have been supporting Raducanu all week on her unbeatable journey to the final, so when she lifted the trophy also shared their congratulations on their Instagram Stories.
The Spince Girls
— Spice Girls (@spicegirls) September 11, 2021
The footballer and social justice campaigner was one of many who sent supportive messages to Raducanu when she pulled out of the fourth round of Wimbledon (after getting there on a Wildcard) for health reasons. Referencing the 'bounce back', Rashford praised Raducanu in a tweet:
Look at that bounce back @EmmaRaducanu US Open champion, amazing. Congratulations 👏🏾👏🏾🇬🇧
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) September 11, 2021
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
The Mayor said he hoped Raducanu 'heard London cheering [her] on all the way'.
— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) September 12, 2021
The legendary tennis player and equal rights activist, who also presented Raducanu with her trophy, shared her congratulations on Twitter too.
What a terrific display of competition & maturity from two exceptional players.
It is wonderful to see this generation living our dream.
I can’t remember a #USOpen with better crowd support. Thank you, NY, the greatest fans in the world.
And congratulations, Emma! pic.twitter.com/fQcOMkV3wk
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 11, 2021
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