Before sporting icons and a starry crowd, this was history in the flesh: A view of Emma Raducanu’s US Open triumph from the stands at the Arthur Ashe stadium
If you thought that watching Emma Raducanu win the US Open on television was something, you should have been there in person.
At the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, the 18-year-old didn’t seem to believe it herself.
Sitting in her chair awaiting the trophy ceremony, she gazed up at the 23,000-capacity stadium in shock.
Miss Raducanu hadn’t just won the tournament on points – she had won on passion too
Then Sweet Caroline started belting out of the speakers and she laughed and sang along with the few hundred British fans madly waving Union Flags.
Miss Raducanu hadn’t just won the tournament on points – she had won on passion too.
But before clinching victory she had to overcome the partisan crowd who cheered more for her opponent, Leylah Fernandez.
You could barely hear the British supporters over the mostly American audience who had clearly decided to adopt the Canadian player as their own.
It was only when Miss Raducanu won the first set, threw her arms up and screamed, ‘Komaan!’ that she got a proper cheer.
Off the court it was a celebrity-packed event and among those in attendance were TV host Gayle King and Virginia Wade, the tennis legend who was the last British woman to win the US Open in 1968.
She could be seen mouthing: ‘Komaan, Emma!’
As the second set went on, the cheers grew so loud for both players that the referee had to quiet them down – with the occasional lone British voice heard shouting: ‘Komaan, Emma!
With Miss Wade in the audience too, it felt like the old guard had given its blessing to a younger generation
Maar, when the game was paused because of a medical issue, it felt horribly like another Wimbledon.
The relief when it turned out to be just a cut – and when Miss Raducanu stormed to victory – was unreal.
As she waited to collect her trophy from Billie Jean King, the former world No1 and pioneer for women’s rights, it was a poignant moment.
With Miss Wade in the audience too, it felt like the old guard had given its blessing to a younger generation.
Nie net dit nie, before the game there was a minute’s silence for the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 aanvalle.
Neither Miss Raducanu nor Miss Fernandez were even born then – meaning this really was history in the making.