Wimbledon and British Tennis Fans See a Rising Star in Emma Raducanu


WIMBLEDON, England — To book the second week of Wimbledon, Emma Raducanu He had to do something he said he had never done before.

“If you ask any of my team, they say, ‘He doesn’t run for the ball,'” Raducanu said with a grin on Saturday. “If there was ever a time to start running, it was today. I’m happy that I got paid for it.”

Chasing as many balls as he could on the low-bouncing grass of Wimbledon’s No.1 court and returning them at sharp angles, Raducanu defeated 45th-placed Sorana Cirstea 6-3, 7-5.

“He’s coming home!” During Raducanu’s win, a fan shouted and adopted the often used cheer for the England football team. run to the semifinals from the European Championship.

18-year-old Raducanu is still a few steps away from his own semi-final, but at Wimbledon he has the opportunity to go further than he could have imagined. On Monday, he will play between 75th-ranked Ajla Tomljanovic and the two lowest-ranked players tied in the women’s singles.

Raducanu’s entry into the fourth round is objectively impressive. Making its debut in Nottingham last month, this is its second tournament at tour level, but it is part of a growing trend in women’s tennis where experience has less impact on results.

A wildcard, Raducanu is one of only four women to enter the fourth round of Wimbledon who have never played in the singles main draw, and it shows how much the sport has changed since the last Wimbledon two years ago.

One of them is 14th seed Barbora Krejcikova, who never made the top 100 in singles a year ago but made an unexpected arrival at Wimbledon. winner of last month’s French Open and also featured here on his first main draw single. The other seed who made a deep run in her first match at Wimbledon is 18th seed Elena Rybakina, who lost in the Wimbledon qualifiers two years ago.

The other fourth-round wildcard is Italy-based Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova, who rose to her first WTA title on the Berlin lawn last month, with her steady strength hitting impressive wins against Americans Jessica Pegula and Sloane Stephens.

But no one is as unlikely as Raducanu.

“Who would have thought?” He said in an interview in court. “It’s funny because in the beginning, when I was collecting items to get into the bubble, my parents were like, ‘Don’t you make a lot of match sets?’ they said. I guess I’ll have to do some laundry tonight.”

Raducanu featured two of his favorite players as Li Na and Simona Halep – these two-time big champions represent Raducanu’s countries of origin. Her father, Ian, is Romanian, and her mother, Renee, is Chinese.

“My two favorite actors that I’ve tried to model my play with are; “I have connections to both countries,” said Raducanu, who was born in Toronto and moved to London when he was 2 years old.

The children of immigrants like Raducanu have been a force in tennis this generation; In particular, Canada has risen to the tennis map in recent years with the power of first generation players.

“I think the mentality that both brought in has definitely helped me,” Raducanu said of his parents, who both work in finance. “They both come from very hardworking countries. My mother has always instilled in me a lot of discipline and respect for other people. I guess having parents like me is always pushing me. They have high expectations. I’ve always tried to keep up with that and I hope I made them proud this week. I will continue to try to continue.”

Raducanu’s coach, Nigel Sears, wasn’t afraid to raise the bar.

“Frankly, I think the sky’s the limit. “I thought about that from Day 1,” Sears told reporters this week.

British coach Sears, who has previously worked with players like Ana Ivanovic and Anett Kontaveit, gives Raducanu a direct line to the British tennis kingdom: His daughter, Kim, is married to Andy Murray. Raducanu and Murray train together, and sent him a message of support after his second-round win.

“I think the most important thing is to just try and get the most out of it when given the opportunity like I was this week,” Raducanu said. “It’s like my opportunity to show that I’m there, that my level is there. So far, I think I’ve done a pretty good job. I just hope to make people and everybody proud.”


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