Emma Raducanu has become the youngest Grand Slam champion in 17 years, ending the tournament as the first player since Serena Williams in 2014 to not drop a set in the US Open.

Emma Raducanu, of Britain, reacts after defeating Leylah Fernandez, of Canada, during the women's singles final of US Open tennis championships, September 11, 2021.
Emma Raducanu, of Britain, reacts after defeating Leylah Fernandez, of Canada, during the women's singles final of US Open tennis championships, September 11, 2021. (AP)

Britain's 18-year-old Emma Raducanu has became the first qualifier to capture a Grand Slam title by defeating Canada's 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez in the US Open women's final.

Raducanu, ranked 150th, was the first British woman in 44 years to win a Slam crown after dispatching 73rd-ranked left-hander Fernandez 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday.

Raducanu also became the youngest Slam champion since 17-year-old Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004.

In just her second Grand Slam tournament, Raducanu ended the tournament as the first player since Serena Williams in 2014 to not drop a set in the US Open.

She closed out the match after needing a medical timeout during her service game for treatment after cutting her knee.

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Young athletes shine

The first Grand Slam final – men or women – to be contested by two unseeded players was an improbable matchup that no one could have predicted, featuring 150th-ranked qualifier Raducanu and little-known Fernandez who is 73rd in the standings.

One unseeded player making a major final would be considered remarkable, two enters the realm of unbelievable.

All the more remarkable was that Raducanu's march to the title required 10 matches, including three wins in qualifying, and she did it without dropping a single set along the way. She swatted aside more experienced opponents with the same ease as she hammered winners.

Fernandez, 19, left a graveyard of seeds and champions in her trail to the final, her victims including second seeded Aryna Sabalenka, four-time Grand Slam winner and defending champion Naomi Osaka, fifth seed Elina Svitolina and three-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber.

This was the first Grand Slam final between teenagers since the 1999 US Open. Serena Williams, 17, beat Martina Hingis, 18, at that tournament for the first of her 23 major singles trophies.

READ MORE:Raducanu to face Fernandez in all-teen US Open final

Royal congratulations

Queen Elizabeth II congratulated Raducanu on her title.

The British monarch wrote in a message that the 18-year-old's victory was a “remarkable achievement at such a young age,” adding she had no doubt that the performance of Raducanu and 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez “will inspire the next generation of tennis players.”

Raducanu was born in Canada and her family moved to England when she was 2.

Not since Virginia Wade in 1977 at Wimbledon had a British woman taken a Slam singles title, with Raducanu the first Briton to claim the US Open crown since Wade in 1968.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies