British teen retains second U.S. Open title by beating American star

A British teenager won her second straight United States Open title on Tuesday.

British competitor Emma Raducanu defeated American star Leylah Fernandez 6-3, 7-5 to win the 34th US Open juvenile girls final on Tuesday.

This is Raducanu’s first US Open crown. She beat fellow Brit Alix Klaasen in last year’s final.

Alex De Campi, the director of the USTA’s National Tennis Center, said Raducanu played a dominant tournament and a “heartbreakingly great match” in the final.

Raducanu, who plays primarily on the pro circuit as a junior, played steady play, with Fernandez struggling to find her rhythm. Raducanu won more than 60 percent of points on her first serve and won 83 percent of points on her first two service games.

It was a close first set, with Raducanu taking the first 10 points of the set until Fernandez earned a break with a big serve to make it 4-3. Raducanu then held for the next three games before reeling off five straight for a 3-0 lead in the second set.

Raducanu then squandered two service games, helping Fernandez move within 3-2. Fernandez then lost serve, allowing Raducanu to take control, and closed out the victory.

“It’s great for the UK in general and it’s very helpful for the girls who are coming up,” said John Lloyd, a former British Davis Cup player and a color commentator for CBS. “We do need to see the US open for other girls to raise their game, and that’s exactly what happened with Emma this year.”

The youngest girls in the tournament were 15-year-old Sloane Stephens of the United States and Victoria Dovaleva of Russia.

Stephens, who beat Raducanu in the last round of qualifying, lost in the first round. Dovaleva was eliminated in the second round, which was dominated by two 15-year-olds in the quarterfinals: Ana Sofia Sanchez of Spain and Sofia Kenin of the United States.

Lloyd said Raducanu is a good player who will get better.

“One of the things I said last year was that there’s not much there (for her), but she’s a high-quality player,” Lloyd said. “I think she just has to start adding another string to her bow. As soon as she does that, you’ll see her approach more in matches, and then it’ll just be a joy to watch.”

Raducanu will keep the US Open title and take home $20,000.

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