Welcome to our coverage of the US Open 2021. In this article, we will be giving you an overview of what transpired during the Men’s and Women’s Finals of the tournament, and the historic achievements that were made on the event.
First things first, we have Emma Raducanu facing off against Leylah Fernandez.
US Open Women’s Final: Emma Raducanu vs. Leylah Fernandez
Britain’s Emma Raducanu accomplished what could be described as a storybook ending by beating Canadian Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3. This marks a historic moment in tennis history as Raducanu is now the first ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam Title. The 18-year-old also became the first British woman to garner a major trophy since Virginia Wade won the Wimbledon Championships in 1977.
This matchup was also the first time that a Grand Slam Final has been contested by two unseeded players, with Raducanu as the 150th-ranked qualifier with just one Grand Slam appearance to her name and Fernandez as the 73rd-ranked qualifier.
What makes Raducanu’s feat much more remarkable was her road towards winning the US Open Title. She had to play in 10 matches, and she won every single one with losing even one set – the first woman to do so since Serena Williams in 2014.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Fernandez beat a number of big names on her road to the final, beating out second seeded Aryna Sabalenka, defending champion Naomi Osaka, and Angelique Kerber, a three-time Grand Slam winner. The Finals match was also the first time Fernandez faced a younger opponent in Raducanu during the tournament.
The Finals match had a few dramatic moments, as well. At one point during the match, Raducanu had to bend down to retrieve the ball, dragging her knee across the surface of the tennis court, causing blood to pour down her left leg. This, however, did not stop Raducanu from returning to the match with a bandaged knee, and winning with an ace.
Winning the US Open title allowed Raducanu to shoot up the world rankings – from 150th to 24th. After the match, Raducanu thanked everyone in New York for “making me feel so at home from my first qualifying match all the way to the final.”
Fernandez, on the other hand, made it a point to remember 9/11, stating her hopes that she “can be as strong and as resilient as New York has been in the past 20 years.” Her match against Raducanu was held on September 11, 2021, which marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
US Open Men’s Final: Daniil Medvedev vs. Novak Djokovic
The US Open Men’s Final has no shortage of historical significance either.
Russia’s Daniil Medvedev defeated Novak Djokovic to win the US Open Men’s Final, clinching his first Grand Slam title. Doing so denied Serbia’s Djokovic the chance to cement his GOAT status by being the first player to pull off a calendar Grand Slam since 1988.
The 25-year-old Medvedev wins 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in what is perhaps the greatest game he has ever played, with him battling cramps in the process.
“I started cramping at 5-3. I think because of the pressure at 5-2 where I had match points, I didn’t make it,” says Medvedev. “I was trying not to show it. If Novak feels it, it’s not good.”
On this way to the US Open Title, Medvedev only dropped one set and went through his four matches in under two hours. This was not also the first time Medvedev has been on such a big stage – he faced off against Rafa Nadal in the US Open Final two years ago. However, despite being the 2nd seed, Medvedev was still seen as an underdog throughout the match, as he lost to Djokovic in straight sets at the Australian Open final in February of this year.
Meanwhile, Djokovic enjoyed the love of the crowd during the entire match. The audience was overwhelmingly on his side, and their continuous chants allowed him to come back when he was down in the third set. But alas, their support was not enough to help push Djokovic towards the Grand Slam title.
Djokovic is still currently tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer with 20 career majors under each of their belts.
After the match, Medvedev spoke highly of his opponent, stating that Djokovic is “the greatest player in history.” He also stated that he was “sorry for you fans and Novak. We all know what he was going for today.”
Djokovic, meanwhile, is still thankful for the chance to make history. "I would like to say that, tonight, even though I have not won the match, my heart is filled with joy and I'm the happiest man alive, because you guys made me feel very special." Djokovic says during the awarding ceremony.
“Thank you so much for your support and everything you have done tonight for me. I love you, and I'll see you soon."