Not Your Average Eighteen Year Old


Alanna Stein

At only eighteen years old, Emma Raducanu is a Grand Slam winner.

Most eighteen year olds spend their days sitting at desks, listening to their teacher lecture on and on about information they will forget by lunchtime. They are swamped with homework and extracurriculars on the weekdays but still make time to socialize with friends on weekends. While they stress about what they are wearing to the Friday night football game or – more importantly – their future plans, Emma Raducanu stresses about whether to hit a forehand or backhand. 

Emma Raducanu is an eighteen year old British tennis player who recently won her first Grand Slam. It was her second ever appearance in a professional tour-level event. Before the competition, Raducanu was ranked one hundred and fiftieth in the world, but leaving the competition, she jumped around one hundred and twenty-seven spots to number twenty-three. Due to her initial low ranking, Raducanu played in and won three qualifying matches before even competing in the tournament’s main draw. 

Without ever dropping a set, Raducanu hastily made her name known as the first female qualifier to secure a spot in a grand slam final, let alone win one. She effortlessly defied expectations of the public, making history with almost every shot. 

In the first all-teenage championship since 1999, Raducanu seized the early lead against Leylah Fernandez in the first set. Through unforgettable baseline placement and notable drop shots, Raducanu took control of the game and swiftly won the first set 6-4.

 Raducanu’s mental toughness proved to be an immense asset to her game in the second set. Up 5-2, Raducanu slid on the blue-dyed concrete, creating a gash in her knee. A five-minute medical timeout left Raducanu a chance to analyze her past points and develop new strategies to implement against the fierce Fernandez. 

Upon resuming the game, tension was high, but momentum was low. Fernandez took the opportunity to win one more game as the score now sat 5-3 with Raducanu leading. In the final game of the match, Raducanu mustered up a powerful ace on her third breakpoint to claim the title as the winner of the 2021 US Open Women’s Singles bracket. 

Raducanu won the trophy with grace and persistence while displaying aggressiveness at the net and consistency at the baseline. Although Raducanu may be unfamiliar with sitting at desks for six hours under bright fluorescent lights, she nevertheless knows how to manage her time as she still received her high school degree. Emma Raducanu teaches students everywhere that they can pursue their dreams while focusing on their education as well.