Wimbledon: Teenage wildcard Emma Raducanu remains Britain’s last singles hope
The teenager had success straight away in the lower tiers but she decided not to travel during the pandemic, focusing on her A levels. She is now in the fourth round of Wimbledon.
Emma Raducanu finds herself as the last British hope in the singles at Wimbledon after continuing her sensational debut by reaching the fourth round.
The 18-year-old became the youngest British woman to make it to the second week at SW19 in the open era with a stunning 6-3 7-5 win over world number 45 Sorana Cirstea.
It is a miraculous achievement from Raducanu, who is ranked 338 in the world and was handed a wild card, given she only played her first ever WTA Tour match last month and put her tennis career on hold during the coronavirus pandemic in order to concentrate on her A-Levels.
She now returns to Court One on Monday to take on world number 75 Ajla Tomljanovic in the fourth round, and she does not want her journey to finish just yet.
“It’s incredible,” she said. “I’m so grateful for this wild card. Honestly, I just wanted to make the most out of it, try to show that I earned it. I’m really grateful for the All England Club’s support in taking a chance on me.
“And the way that I’m approaching my matches is each time I’m thinking to myself, ‘Why not?’. Like today, I was like, ‘Someone has to be in the second week, why not me?’.
“I’m just trying to stay here as long as possible. As I said, I’m just having such a blast. Everything is so well taken care of that it’s such a pleasure to be here.”
British hopes in the men’s tournament ended with Cameron Norrie’s 6-4 6-4 5-7 6-4 defeat by eight-time champion Roger Federer on Centre Court.
The British number two was playing in the last 32 for the third consecutive slam but, after losing to Rafael Nadal at both the Australian and French Opens, this time it was Federer who blocked his path.
Federer looked to be cruising through to the fourth round at two sets ahead only for Norrie to break to love to clinch the third. That was as good as it got, though, with the sixth seed wrapping up victory in two hours and 34 minutes.
Norrie said: “I was a little bit disappointed with my level today. I think I gave a lot of free points early on, especially first two sets I didn’t serve that well. I was missing a lot of second-serve returns.
“But, regardless of the situation, it was amazing to play against him, to experience that, to have that kind of atmosphere out there on Centre Court. I loved every minute of it.”