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Tennis

Where does Emma Raducanu’s US Open win rank in Britain’s best ever sporting achievements, better than 1966 World Cup?

EMMA RADUCANU’S sensational US Open tennis victory in New York is the greatest ever achievement in British sporting history.

The 18-year-old Kent whizkid became the first qualifier ever to win a major – and did not drop a single set in doing so.

Emma Raducanu was overcome with emotion after her victory in New York
The 18-year-old will become the new British No.1 on Monday

Her victory in New York – on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror atrocity that struck the US city – came just weeks after she sat her A-levels.

She received a congratulatory letter from the Queen, while PM Boris Johnson and stars from sport and showbiz also hailed her phenomenal achievement.

Her 6-4 6-3 triumph over Canada’s Leylah Fernandez over a pulsating one hour and 51 minutes captured the hearts of the 24,000 crowd inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium and millions watching around the world.

It earned her £1.8m prize cheque but she is now set to become Britain’s richest ever female sports star.

Here, SunSport looks at the nine other greatest sporting achievements for a British athlete or team.

Raducanu came through a tense final game to win Championship point

1. RADUCANU WINS US OPEN 2021

In an achievement unmatched in British sporting history, girl-wonder Emma Raducanu came through a gruelling three-week schedule to become the first-ever qualifier to lift a Grand Slam title.

18-year-old Raducanu only opened her A Level results last month but on Saturday became Britain’s youngest Grand Slam champion and its new tennis No.1.

Watched by Virginia Wade – the last British woman to win a Grand Slam title back at Wimbledon in 1977 – Raducanu lifted the trophy in front of an adoring New York crowd as she wrote her name into the history books.

Raducanu has received messages of congratulations from the Queen and Boris Johnson

2. HURST’S HAT-TRICK IN WORLD CUP WIN, 1966

“They think it’s all over… it is now!”

Sir Geoff’s third goal against the old rivals West Germany produced one of the most famous lines in commentary and the greatest night in English football history.

Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick as England beat West Germany

3. REDGRAVE’S FIFTH CONSECUTIVE OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL, 2000

Victory in the men’s coxless four saw Sir Steve notch a stunning fifth Olympic gold in Sydney.

Appearing in the first games of the new Millenium, Redgrave’s victory saw him become the most successful rower in Olympic history at the grand old age of 38.

Steve Redgrave triumphed in the coxless fours in Syndey

4. BOTHAM’S 1981 ASHES DOMINANCE

One of the most extraordinary Test series in cricket history is most remembered for one man.

Beefy’s heroics with bat and ball – scoring a fearsome 149 not-out at Headingley and taking five wickets for only one run at Edgbaston – led England to a famous 3-1 victory against the old foe Australia.

Ian Botham shone with bat and ball in one of the most memorable Ashes series

5. HAMILTON WINS HIS SEVENTH F1 WORLD TITLE

He’s been the dominant force of his generation and Lewis Hamilton’s 2020 world title saw him join Michael Schumacher as F1’s most decorated driver.

The title – clinched with three races to spare – was Hamilton’s fourth in a row and led his Mercedes team to an unrivalled seventh-straight title in the Constructors’ Championship.

Lewis Hamilton led Toto Wolff’s Mercedes team to a seveth Constructors’ title

6. ‘SUPER SATURDAY’ – ENNIS-HILL, FARAH AND RUTHERFORD ALL WIN GOLD, LONDON OLYMPICS 2012

London 2012 saw hosts Team GB raise their game to claim a record 29 gold medals across an historic fortnight in the capital.

A golden hat-trick came on the most memorable night as Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford lit up the Olympic stadium with their respective heptathlon, 10,000m and long-jump golds.

Jessica Ennis-Hill claimed victory in the heptathlon

Mo Farah took the first of his two golds of the Games on Super Saturday

Greg Rutherford won 2012 long jump gold with a leap of 8.31m

7. WILKINSON’S WINNING DROP KICK IN THE RUGBY WORLD CUP, 2003

He had been England’s golden boy throughout the tournament and when the pressure was on against Australia in the final, he delivered.

Receiving the ball in extra time with the Rugby World Cup on the line, Wilkinson calmly kicked a drop goal with his weaker right foot to claim England’s only Webb Ellis trophy to date.

Jonny Wilkinson kept his head to kick the winning points

8. STOKES’ HEROICS IN ENGLAND’S 2019 CRICKET WORLD CUP WIN

Ben Stokes was the hero as hosts England claimed victory over New Zealand at the 2019 Cricket World Cup in nerve-wracking style.

His unbeaten 84, including a controversial six when the ball struck his bat as he was sprinting between the wickets, took England into the deciding Super Over and the famous victory at Lord’s.


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Ben Stokes’ later apologised for the ball hitting his bat as he ran between the wickets

9. MURRAY WINS WIMBLEDON FOR THE FIRST TIME, 2013

British fans had waited 77 long years for a men’s single champion at Wimbledon before Andy Murray finally claimed the trophy in 2013.

Victory put right the defeat he suffered at the same stage a year earlier and paved the way for a repeat three years later at the 2016 final.

Andy Murray ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s singles Wimbledon champion

10. HOY WINS THREE TRACK CYCLING GOLD MEDALS AT THE BEIJING OLYMPICS, 2008

Cycling great Sir Chris became the first Brit to win three golds at a single Games since Henry Taylor in 1908.

Hoy’s victories in the team sprint (with Jason Kenny and Jamie Staff), sprint and kierin events led Team GB to top the cycling medal table and pave the way for further domination four years later in London.

Chris Hoy’s golds saw him become Scotland’s most decorated Olympian

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