Raducanu Told She Had 'Easy Draw' During Her US Open Triumph By Fellow Rival

Raducanu Told She Had 'Easy Draw' During Her US Open Triumph By Fellow Rival

by Zachary Wimer

Emma Raducanu won the US Open in 2021, but Marta Kostyuk believes that she had an easy draw, at least compared to Leylah Fernandez.

Raducanu's triumph at the 2021 US Open is one of the most iconic tennis runs in history. Whatever you might think of her as a player or the tournament as an event, the sheer nature of the achievement makes it one of the most iconic things in tennis ever.

No qualifier ever before or after has won a Grand Slam event. There were circumstances that contributed, but ultimately, it's still a huge achievement. However, Ukrainian tennis player Marta Kostyuk believes that Emma Raducanu's draw wasn't that difficult, especially compared to Leylah Fernandez, her opponent in the final, who had a tougher draw.

Kostyuk, who is currently competing at the 2024 Australian Open, where she set up a quarterfinal match against Coco Gauff, talked about the different difficulties of a draw that a player can have.

"It's every day and every slam and every tournament is so unique and so different. We play in different conditions, different balls, different... Everything is different opponents. Everything is different. I think a lot depends."

"Someone can have a very easy draw, and someone can have extremely difficult. I have an easiest example of when Leylah and Emma were playing the final, what draw Leylah had and what draw Emma had. Emma, no offense, but Leylah was really fighting for her life every single match."

Fernandez faced stronger opposition en route to the final, but you can only play those in front of you. Raducanu won all her matches and made it to the final, same as Fernandez, but she also won the final, and that's arguably the most important match.

What came before doesn't really matter as it's not the final. Raducanu faced one player ranked outside of the Top 100, five players ranked inside the Top 50 but only two from the Top 20, and no player ranked in the Top 10 of the WTA Rankings.

Fernandez didn't face a single player ranked outside of the Top 100, faced only four players ranked inside the Top 50, but also three players ranked inside the Top 10. She faced Naomi Osaka, who was 3rd at that time, Elina Svitolina, who was 5th, and Aryna Sabalenka, who was 2nd.

2021 US Open Path to the Final:

Emma Raducanu Leylah Fernandez
R1 Stefanie Voegele (128) Ana Konjuh (88)
R2 Shuai Zhang (49) Kaia Kanepi (70)
R3 Sara Sorribes Tormo (41) Naomi Osaka (3)
R4 Shelby Rogers (43) Angelique Kerber (17)
Quarter-final Belinda Bencic (12) Elina Svitolina (5)
Semi-final Maria Sakkari (18) Aryna Sabalenka (2)
Final Leylah Fernandez (73) Emma Raducau (150)


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