Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernández: the mix

On Saturday I saw at Eurosport the women’s final of the US Open Tennis between the British Emma Raducanu and the canadian Leylah Fernandez, two prodigious players with only 18 years. All the future is yours. He won the first in two sets.

I really like watching the best tennis matches on television. In addition to the beauty of the game, the emotion aroused by the variable uncertainty of its development leaves my mind blank, I really miss it. The spectacle of the Arthur Ashe Stadium and its blue court, with its capacity for more than 23,000 spectators, the largest tennis venue in the world, is superb and the television production increases it.

Arthur Ashe Stadium, as fans know, is in Flushing, a neighborhood in the New York borough of Queens. Like other areas of the region, it was a settlement for British settlers and, above all, Dutch during the seventeenth century. The American Arthur Ashe, whom I remember seeing play (with glasses) as a teenager, winner of that same tournament (on another stage) and also of the Wimbledon and Australian Open, was, in the 60s and early 70s, the first great black champion of tennis, and her family came from the African slave trade.

Emma Raducanu, although living in London, was born in Toronto to a Romanian father and a Chinese mother. Leylah Fernández (with an unmistakable last name), a big fan of Real Madrid (by the way), was also born in Canada (Montreal), the daughter of an Ecuadorian and a Filipina. They each speak three languages.

In a small event, we can see that the world is today, more than ever and in some of its best manifestations, the result of movement and mixing of people.

A considerable part of humanity has always been in transit, on the move. For reasons, of course, very varied: nomadic activities; migrations caused by economic hardship, by political and religious persecution, by invasions and wars; commercial activities; career opportunities and destinations; exploratory and recreational trips …

It goes without saying which of these movements have been and continue to be tragic and unfair today, prone to concentrating pain, developing poorly and ending worse. The mixture of people has always existed and has given rise to efforts paid with the highest price (life), but also to very enriching results in all social orders.

Born of parents from four distant parts of the planet, the meeting at the top of the very young Emma and Leylah not only tells us that the world is fluid and open today, but that, underneath the tragedies we contemplate and the terrible obstacles who continue to oppose the movement or who force it against the wishes of those who lead it, there are threads and paths that lead to a well longed for.

And I have thought that in contemporary Spain, in which we have so much memory and experience of being forced to go beyond our borders, the roots of an isolated, localist society still prevail, with hardly any mixture, still without appreciation for the positive fruits mix. And some, on top, putting walls between ourselves.


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