London : Tennis showcases the diversity of a more complex Britain. Student Emma Raducanu, 18, galvanized the nation with her U.S. Open triumph.

At long last, Britain got the outpouring of national jubilation it has craved this summer, - not from men's soccer team that narrowly missed sports immortality but from a young woman with a radiant smile, Emma Raducanu, who stormed from obscurity to tin the U.S. Open tennis title.

The straight-set victory of Ms. Raducanu, 18, over Leylah Fernandez, a 19-year-old Canadian, drew an eruption of cheers from crowds that gathered to watch the match at pubs in her hometown, Bromley, an outer borough of London, and at the nearby tennis club that set her on an improbable path to Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City.

''The atmosphere is buzzing,'' said Dave Cooke, manager of the Parklangley Club, where Ms. Raducanu trained for several years, starting when she was 6. On Sunday, the day after her victory, members brimmed with pride, recounting how she returned after competing at Wimbledon for a practice session.

''Just to watch her train was phenomenal,'' said a member, Julie Slatter, 54. '' You just know she's going to take it all the way.''

Queen Elizabeth lost no time in congratulating the new champion for a ''remarkable achievement at such a young age,'' which she said was a  ''testament to your hard work and dedication.'' Looking slightly dazzled Ms. Raducanu said, '' I'm maybe going to frame that letter or something.''

Her victory made history on multiple counts : She became the first player to win a Grand Slam title from the qualifying rounds since Virginia Wade captured Wimbledon in 1977. 

Ms. Wade cheered on Ms. Raducanu from the gallery, as Billie Jean King on the winner's podium - two champions crowning a new one, and heralding, perhaps, a glittering new era for British Tennis.

For long suffering British sports fans, Ms. Raducanu's victory was also a kind of redemption after the heartbreaking defeat of England's soccer team in the finals of European championships in July.

England snatched defeat from victory in that game when it missed three penalty kicks in the deciding shootout against Italy.

''She's a schoolgirl and she's from Bromley,'' said Jennifer Taylor, 40, sitting outside a pub. ''I'm sure if she comes to Bromley, they'll be a huge welcome for her.''

As she prepared to return home, Ms. Raducanu alluded to Britain's eventful sports summer, in which millions of fans, herself included, took to chanting the theme of the England team, ''Football's coming home.''

Posting pictures of herself waving a Union Jack and holding the silver cup of the Open Champion, she said, ''We are taking her HOMEEE.''

The World Students Society thanks authors Mark Landler and Isabella Kwai.


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