Emma Raducanu’s ranking rise and prize money windfall after her latest US Open win

Kevin Palmer
Emma Raducanu in action
Emma Raducanu

So the fairy tale continues.

As Emma Raducanu stormed into the quarter-finals of the US Open with the 6-2, 6-1 demolition of Shelby Rogers in her first appearance on Arthur Ashe Stadium, it was hard not to ponder the previously unthinkable prospect.

Could the British teenager win the final Grand Slam event of 2021?

After all, this story is not that of a plucky outsider stumbling into the latter stages of a major after some fortunate wins as Raducanu has dismissed seven opponents in New York – three in qualifying and now four in the main draw – with the class of a champion in the making.

The statistics she has put together since her breakthrough run to the last-16 of Wimbledon in July are so impressive and surely this has to be the best of them all; the 15 games she has dropped to reach the quarter-finals of this year’s US Open is the fewest any player has record to reach this stage of the New York event since Serena Williams matched that total when she was in her prime in 2013. That is a stat that confirms her rise to prominence is no fluke.

Even after an understandably nervous start to her latest match, Raducanu found a way to hold her nerve and once she settled on the biggest court in tennis, she put enough pressure on her far more experienced opponent to ensure she buckled long before the finishing line was in sight.

Even after she had notched up another win, the wonderfully engaging Raducanu gave off a vibe that she was a tourist struggling to believe she was allowed to play in the US Open rather than a contender in the last eight of the tournament, but that is what she is heading into her next match against newly crowned Olympic champion Belinda Bencic.

This latest win has taken her above the 1000 points total in the current WTA Rankings, with her provisional ranking now standing at around 74, with a leap into the world’s top 50 on the cards if she can beat Bencic on Wednesday.

Raducanu has now won seven of her eight matches in Grand Slam events and since making her debut at Wimbledon in June, she has won almost $700,000 in prize money, with a win rate of 75 per-cent in her matches so far.

They are statistics few have ever produced in the history of the game, but former British No 1 Tim Henman insists talk of Raducanu winning the US Open this year needs to be diluted.

“We have to go one at a time,” Henman told Amazon Prime Sport. “She is inexperienced, it’s no good thinking about the semis and final, she plays the Olympic champion now. Rogers did not pose threats, but (quarter-final opponent Belinda) Bencic is a different class and the clear favourite.

“What we can say it was so special, to see Emma Raducanu get off to that nervous start, you felt for her, but she showed courage to dig her heels in and fight her way out of that. I did not expect her to react like that, it was incredible.

“Even up 6-2, 5-1 it is not easy to finish it off. I was so impressed how she kept her composure and finished it off. She had very good support even playing an American, it will be interesting in the next match to see whether she has a majority of support.

“I was pretty nervous for her (at 2-0 down), you hope she can stay in the moment. When you are young it’s very easy to get ahead of yourself, but she handled herself so well. She also spoke so well afterward, let us enjoy her journey.”

Henman might not want to dream just yet, but Raducanu’s newly acquired and increasingly convinced army of supporters have long since gone beyond the point of asking whether their new hero can win the US Open.