In what has so far been the most sensational US Open tennis event ever seen, headlines have been dominated by the youngsters. Before the tournament started the talk was about Dzokovic and could he win all four slams in a calendar year. But that discussion has faded into significance with the emergence of some stunning young talent. The tennis produced by three young players has sent the whole tennis world into ecstasy.
Emma Raducanu, Laylah Fernandez and Carloz Alcarez are still all into their teens. During the first week of Flushing Meadows everybody has been in awe of this trio of players.
Great Britian has a new hero to look up to
Great Britain’s Raducanu was born in Toronto to a Romanian father and Chinese mother. Her family moved to Greater London when she was just two years of age, and now she resides in Bromley Kent.
Raducanu came to prominence last summer when she reached the last 16 at Wimbledon before retiring with heat exhaustion. She has reached the last 16 of both her first two majors, some feat for the youngster.
British tennis fans will remember a similar explosion of optimism when a certain Andy Murray appeared on the scene. In 2005 a young Murray defeated the 14th seed Radek Stepanek at Wimbledon and look what has happened to him since then.
Capriati, Seles and Evert all made semi’s at a young age
In the ladies game Jennifer Capriati, Monica Seles and Chris Evert all made semi-finals of a major before they reached 18. It is already looking likely that Raducanu could repeat this feat.
Standing in her way is American Shelby Rogers. Ten years older than the Brit with a career high of 40. Rogers will have the local fans on her side, however a large percentage of Americans have already taken Raducanu to their heart.
The emergence of Raducanu comes at the perfect time for British tennis. Murray hasn’t been a contender at the majors since 2017. Johanna Konta is restricted by knee trouble and has even hinted at retiring from the game at the end of the year. Last year was a poor year for British girls wins at grand slams- just eight.
Yet to drop a set
Raducanu has now won six matches in two majors alone, with just one set lost. Ubndoubtably win or lose against Rogers, we are looking at a future British number one and a girl who has the potential to go a long way in the game.
Canada’s Layla Fernandez is another player who has taking the tennis world by storm. Having already beaten Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber in New York, just a day before her 19th birthday- not a bad couple of scalps. Displaying a no fear factor and determination to succeed come what may, this girl ticks all the right boxes.
Although it is the women’s game that is producing a string of young talent, the men’s game is also producing talent.
Spain look to have produced a successor to the legend Rafael Nadal. Remember the name, Carlos Alcaraz. Aged just 18, Alcaraz made his ATP debut in the Rio Open at the age of 16.
Already in this year’s US Open, the Spaniard has knocked out the number three seed Stefanos Tsitsipas on his way to the quarter finals.
All three youngsters have already showed that they can thrive on the main stage. Nothing will deter them in their quest to one day become a grand slam champion. The message to the older brigade is pretty clear, beware what is behind you as this is the future of the sport.