8. Teen queens hold court at Flushing Meadows
If this had been a movie, it would have been criticized as implausible. An 18-year-old Emma Raducanu, ranked No. 150 and competing in her first-ever US Open, plays 19-year-old No. 73 Leylah Fernandez in the finals and triumphs to become the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title.
Add on their international backgrounds, and it seemed designed for worldwide box office appeal—the Toronto-born Raducanu, of Romanian and Chinese origin, represents Great Britain, while Canada's Fernandez has parents hailing from Ecuador and the Philippines.
But this was no movie. It's what actually unfolded in New York, where the two teen queens become bigger and bigger sensations as they kept winning round upon round. By the time they both reached the final, it had almost taken on the level of a proceeding of state.