British sensation Emma Raducanu, 18, continues her Wimbledon fairytale as the wildcard entry claims a straight sets victory over world No 41 Marketa Vondrousova to set up third-round tie with Sorana Cirstea on her Grand Slam debutBritain’s Emma Raducanu secured a shock victory over Marketa Vondrousova The 18-year-old wildcard entry beat the World No 42 in straight sets on Court 12Raducanu, who is 338 in the rankings, will play Sorana Cirstea in the third roundRaducanu is playing in her first Grand Slam women’s singles tournament
We ought to get used to Emma Raducanu being the last of the British women at Wimbledon.
The 18-year-old might have been the youngest and lowest-ranked of the nine home favourites who entered this year’s ladies’ draw.
But Raducanu is the only one to reach as far as the third round —and do not be surprised if she is flying the flag for the next decade to come.
Britain’s Emma Raducanu continued her Wimbledon fairytale with a sensationnal win over Marketa Vondrousova
A mixture of powerful hitting and incredible composure from Raducanu saw her shock the world number 42
The world No 338 finished school just two months ago and this is her first time at Wimbledon or any other Grand Slam.
Yet she gave Czech star Marketa Vondrousova a lesson on these lawns on Thursday night, cruising to a 6-2, 6-4 win on Court 12.
To think that Vondrousova reached the final of the French Open in 2019 and is ranked 296 places above the new Brit on the block. You don’t need Raducanu’s maths and economics A-levels to work out that she is defying all the odds.
Do not bet on her stopping here, either. The British No 10 will play Romanian Sorana Cirstea — the slayer of 12th seed Victoria Azarenka — on Saturday for the chance to reach the second week.
And her section of the draw is wide open, with no seed in her sights until the quarter-finals, where she could meet world No 1 Ashleigh Barty. What a party that would be.
The world No 338 finished school just two months ago and this is her first time at Wimbledon
Perhaps we are getting ahead of ourselves. Certainly, Raducanu is still pinching herself at coming this far. She said after her delayed first-round victory over Vitalia Diatchenko that any other win would be a bonus. Well, what a bonus for a player who had won just £29,000 in career prize money before this week and is now guaranteed a cheque of at least £115,000.
Raducanu is already quite some story. She was born in Canada to a Romanian father and Chinese mother before moving to England at the age of two.
Guided through the LTA Pro Scholarship Programme, she has long been seen as this country’s next big thing. Because of Covid cancellations, it has taken slightly longer than expected for Raducanu to show off her skills.
But having been granted a wildcard to Wimbledon, just her second tournament on the WTA Tour, she is more than making up for lost time.
Yet she gave Czech star Marketa Vondrousova a lesson on these lawns on Thursday night
Raducanu claimed confidently this week that her studies have made her more ‘tactically astute’ than others. She may be on to something as she completely schooled Vondrousova in what was her first match against a top 100 opponent.
Not even a late switch from Court 18, where she won on Wednesday, to the quieter Court 12 could knock her off her stride. Yes, the talented teenager showed a few early nerves, ballooning two volleys long in the first game.
Her section of the draw is wide open, with no seed in her sights until the quarter-finals
But Raducanu soon settled down and, after holding her first service game to love, she set about the Vondrousova serve, breaking her twice in succession to take complete command of the first set.
Raducanu, who was controlling the baseline battle, clinched the 29minute opener in fitting fashion with another of her trademark brutal backhands.
With former British men’s No 1 Jeremy Bates watching along with an excited crowd, she wobbled early in the second, losing her serve after a double fault and going 3-0 down.
Yet she showed her fighting qualities to save two break points in the fourth game, then break Vondrousova back to love — that backhand again her lethal weapon.
The British No 10 will play Sorana Cirstea — the slayer of Victoria Azarenka — on Saturday
The rest of the set went with serve until, at 4-4, a double fault from Vondrousova opened the door and Raducanu needed no second invitation.
Even the pressure of serving for the match did not get to her, comfortably completing victory with a big first serve which Vondrousova could only dump into the net.
Raducanu dropped to her haunches in disbelief before clapping and waving to the crowd. It won’t be the last time she brings fans to their feet.
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