This week we’re counting down our Top 5 Stats Of The Year, one day at a time…

and kicking off the list at No. 5 is 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu not only becoming the first qualifier in the Open Era (male or female) to reach a Grand Slam final, but then going one step further to become the first qualifier in the Open Era (male or female) to win a Grand Slam title.

Having started off as the No. 31 seed in the qualifying draw at the US Open this summer, the British teenager won 10 straight matches (and 20 straight sets) to go on to claim her first Grand Slam title in Flushing Meadows.

Before Raducanu, the best result by a qualifier at a major in the Open Era was the semifinals, achieved by five men and three women:
~ John McEnroe (SFs at 1977 Wimbledon - l. to Jimmy Connors)
~ Bob Giltinan (SFs at 1977 Australian Open [Dec] - l. to John Lloyd)
~ Christine Matison (SFs at 1978 Australian Open - l. to Betsy Nagelsen)
~ Filip Dewulf (SFs at 1997 Roland Garros - l. to Gustavo Kuerten)
~ Alexandra Stevenson (SFs at 1999 Wimbledon - l. to Lindsay Davenport)
~ Vladimir Voltchkov (SFs at 2000 Wimbledon - l. to Pete Sampras)
~ Nadia Podoroska (SFs at 2020 Roland Garros - l. to Iga Swiatek)
~ Aslan Karatsev (SFs at 2021 Australian Open - l. to Novak Djokovic)

Only two of those players, McEnroe and Dewulf, were even able to win a set in their semifinals—not only did Raducanu win her semifinal, she went on to win the title.