Newly minted U.S. Open winner Emma Raducanu did not expect to take home the title on Saturday — or any of the fanfare that came afterward.
During an appearance on TODAY Monday, Raducanu, 18, who hails from Great Britain, reacted to the messages she received from Queen Elizabeth II and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, congratulating her on her big win in the Gram Slam tournament.
"I was very, very honored to have received a note from her majesty," Raducanu told Savannah Guthrie. "I'm very grateful. I have got some congratulations, but I haven't really checked my phone yet still. I'm still just trying to really let this moment sink in, and I had a really nice night with my team the night of a final. We just discussed and reflected."
On Saturday, the queen sent Raducanu a note that read in part, "It is a remarkable achievement at such a young age, and is testament to your hard work and dedication. I have no doubt your outstanding performance, and that of your opponent Leylah Fernandez, will inspire the next generation of tennis players. I send my warmest good wishes to you and your many supporters."
The former Kate Middleton added via Twitter, "Huge congratulations @EmmaRaducanu on your stunning performances and historic Grand Slam victory! Incredible –we are all so proud of you."
Raducanu also revealed to Savannah and Hoda Kotb how her parents, who did not travel to the U.S. with her for the tournament, are reacting to the news.
"They're definitely proud and happy. They're my toughest critics and so hard to please," she quipped. "I got them this time, though."
Raducanu made history as the first player in the professional era to go through the qualifying round and still clinch the title. Asked if she even had the slightest inkling that she could win the U.S. Open, she replied, "Not at all."
"I did not think I would last the whole trip," she continued. "I thought I'd be home in a week after qualifying. But I've just been doing my best to take care of every single day individually and to the best of my abilities. Then, three weeks later, the time's flown and I was holding the trophy at the end. It was the best time of my life."
Despite her intense focus, Raducanu still struggled with pre-match nerves, she told Hoda.
"I just didn't feel quite 100%, and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. It's just a weird feeling, but I think that's part of the build-up and everything, but as soon as I got out onto the court and was just doing what I've done 100 times before, playing and just focusing on the point and tactics and not trying to get caught up in anything ... I felt completely normal.
"It was a great level match because Leylah played incredible tennis, and we were literally throwing everything at each other, and I'm just very proud to have come through. Some tough moments at the end, especially."
Raducanu is the first British woman to win a Grand Slam title since Virginia Wade, who was in the audience, at Wimbledon in 1977. Two teenagers haven’t faced off in a final at the tournament since 1999, when Serena Williams defeated Martina Hingis. Raducanu beat Fernandez, 19, on Saturday 6-4, 6-3.