'Girls are now allowed to be vocal. They’re allowed to be competitive. They’re allowed to be ambitious.'
The world watched in excitement this weekend as 18-year-old Emma Raducanu won the US Open.
Her victory, beating Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3, saw her become the first British woman to win a grand slam since Virginia Wade in 1977 and the first qualifier to win a grand slam ever.
Virginia Wade was in the audience to watch Emma Raducanu make history at Flushing Meadows and tennis icon Billie Jean King presented the teenager with her trophy.
With her world ranking shooting from 366 to 25, there is no doubt Emma Raducanu has a starry future ahead, something that the internet celebrated over the weekend.
High profile names were also quick to celebrate the significance of Emma Raducanu’s victory, with her triumph and the public interest it piqued marking a watershed moment for women in sport.
Broadcaster Clare Balding spoke to Channel 4 News‘ Cathy Newman about the landmark moment and for what it means going forward.
‘I’m a big believer in the broader messages of sport and what it means outside the field of play,’ she explained. ‘Girls are now allowed to be vocal, they’re allowed to be competitive, they’re allowed to be ambitious – those are not seen as negative things and when I was growing up, we were encouraged to not do that because that wasn’t feminine. I think with the help of Emma Raducanu, the whole idea of the scope of what is feminine is changing and I love that because that means that opportunity is endless.’
She later continued: ‘What’s exciting for me about this for women’s tennis generally is not only are we now interested and we know Emma Raducanu, we also know Leylah Fernandez, we also will start to know all the other women who she played in major semi finals or finals along the way and that increases our interest in the sport.’
What an incredible moment.
Congratulations to the incredible Emma Raducanu!