Raducanu has had a meteoric rise to fame. She has gone from playing in the same event as UEA’s Number One at the end of May to being the first qualifier ever to win a grand slam less than four months later. She was ranked outside the top 300 for Wimbledon and was ranked only 150 at the start of the US Open, meaning she had to go through qualification. Her win at the US open without dropping a set in all ten matches is therefore all the more impressive. This also made her the first British woman to win the US Open singles title for 53 years, with previous winner Virginia Wade watching her lift the trophy in New York.
Not only is this huge for British tennis in general, but it is also likely to have an important impact on women wanting to get into the sport as well as some of our current members here at UEA Tennis. Bethan, a member of our social squad explains that “while Raducanu is four years younger than me, I still find her incredibly inspiring despite being someone who is still fairly new to the sport. While I am not suggesting that I personally will ever be competing in a grand slam, it does make me believe that improving at tennis is a possibility for me if I commit to it and don’t talk myself out of it like I usually do! This is something I feel really struck me with Raducanu’s exit from Wimbledon, the strength to come back and dominate in the way she did so soon after is something that I hope will never be forgotten no matter where her career goes from here!”
Although Raducanu has been dominating the headlines, a mention must go out to someone much closer to UEA. Norwich born and bred wheelchair tennis player Alfie Hewett managed to achieve the calendar slam in the wheelchair men’s doubles with British partner Gordon Reid, a feat that even Novak Djokovic has never achieved. Not only does this mean he’s won every single wheelchair men’s doubles grand slam in 2021, it also is their eighth consecutive grand slam title together.
Rounding up an impressive US open campaign for British tennis, Joe Salisbury became the first man to win both doubles events at the US open for more than a decade winning the Men’s doubles with American Rajeev Ram and the mixed doubles with another American, Desirae Krawczyk.
Raducanu has played an incredible part in an even more tremendous year for British Tennis and an inspiring summer for British sport.