Firstly, I think it is worth mentioning that I still cannot quite believe what we have witnessed from both of these players over this tournament. It has been quite remarkable from both Raducanu and Fernandez. The fact I have received so many messages from pals about the match tells you all that you need to know about the excitement these two have caused. Not only that but the number of Tweets from Royalty, celebrities and all sorts of sports athletes speak volumes.
I think what impressed me most from Raducanu was the way she kept her bottle when it would have been easy to let this get nasty on the scoreboard again. The 6/4 6/3 score doesn’t necessarily do justice to Fernandez’s performance but Raducanu was a worthy winner in every sense. The final game of the match showed her mental strength, with a few match points coming and going in the previous game on the Canadians serve. Not only that but she had a clear mindset when scraping her knee on the ground to take a medical timeout. It was fully justified with blood streaming down her leg. Fernandez wasn’t best pleased at the time as she had breakpoint to get it back on serve and you can understand it from her point too as she had the momentum at that moment. The way the Brit played the big points was generally flawless, winning the first set by crunching a forehand down the line for the break and Championship Point with an ace, just two of many examples. She just glides around the court working angles or redirects the ball herself, it is quite effortless.
The match was shown on channel 4, as well as Amazon in the UK, and it had the usual courtside analysis from Tim Henman who summed it up nicely by referring to Raducanu’s run at the Open as ‘an absolute joke’ several times. I make him right and he obviously meant it positively as he has been helping her with bits and bobs over in NYC. What he meant was to come through qualifiers and then seven rounds in the main draw without dropping a set is nothing short of unbelievable. The first time it has been done in history and she is the first British female to win a major in forty-four years with Virginia Wade present in NYC. I was loving the celebration from Tim on match point with the cheeky point in the direction of Emma who took it all in her stride.
Fernandez is a class act too though on and off the court, telling the crowd in the on-court interview that she hopes to be as strong and resilient as New York has been in the past twenty years, on the anniversary of 9/11. Great words.
Al Davies (Andy Del Potro).