Emma Raducanu: British teen wins US Open
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Emma Raducanu became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam as she defeated fellow-teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez in the US Open final. The Brit failed to drop a set through three rounds of qualifying and seven main-draw matches en route to the title. Although Raducanu appeared to breeze through to the title, she found herself the centre of a row after requiring a medical time out while serving for the match as her opponent set up break point.
Raducanu achieved a near-impossible feat as she became the first-ever qualifier to win a Major title, and the first in Open Era history to do it on just her second appearance at Grand Slam level.
Many are running out of superlatives to describe the Brit’s incredible feat, as she won 20 successive sets over three weeks to lift the US Open trophy, ending a 44-year drought for British women at Grand Slam level.
While the Bromley teenager has quickly become a household name thanks to her heroics in New York, she has also found herself embroiled in a row over a medical time out, taken as she was serving for the championship.
Raducanu fell and grazed her knee during a rally while she was serving for the title, losing the exchange to gift Fernandez a break point, giving the Canadian a chance to stay alive in the match.
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As blood began gushing out of the cut and running down the Brit’s leg, she received a medical time out to clean and patch up the graze.
Fernandez appeared visibly unhappy with the pause in the match, as the 19-year-old could be seen arguing with a tournament official as play was halted for a few minutes during a crucial moment.
The 19-year-old felt she had the momentum, having saved championship points on her own serve a game earlier, before setting up a break point to keep herself in the final.
While many have slammed the decision for Raducanu to take a medical time out at such a pivotal point in the match, former US Open champion Andy Roddick has rushed to the teenager’s defence and reminded many of the rules.
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“Everyone trying to kill joy by overreacting to the stoppage in play to stop the knee bleeding, just stop …. It’s not even Emma’s call,” the former world No 1 tweeted.
“They will not allow active bleeding while on court. Had to be addressed. Out of her control. This match won’t be defined by that. Just stop.”
When one person replied to the American saying the controversy surrounding the 18-year-old’s medical time out was “justified”, Roddick hit back with a screenshot of the official rulebook’s verdict on bleeding.
The rule states: “If a player is bleeding, the Chair Umpire must stop play as soon as possible, and the Sports Physiotherapist must be called to the court by the Chair Umpire for evaluation and treatment.
“The sports physiotherapist, in conjunction with the tournament doctor if appropriate, will evaluate the source of the bleeding, and will request a medical time-out for treatment if necessary.”
There were mixed reactions to the incident on social media, with one Twitter user writing: “The medical time out was very wrong timing, very unfair to Fernandez. Congratulations to Raducanu, she played amazing tennis regardless.”
“Leylah Fernandez deserved a better outcome there. Raducanu played well, marginally better, but that medical time out was a bush league move in a Championship Match,” another penned.
Others joined Roddick in defending the Brit, with one praising Raducanu as they tweeted: “Nah to be 40-30 down on a medical time out and to have to hold your serve to avoid prolonging the set with an injury? Obscene mentality. Raducanu couldn’t have deserved it more. Absolutely incredible display!”
Another summed up the feelings of the nation perfectly, simply saying: “Emma Raducanu deliberately having a medical time out to help calm the nation’s heart rate, a true British hero.”
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