Brainbox Raducanu: I'd swap straight A*s for Wimbledon last 16 spot in a heartbeat

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Teenage superstar Raducanu, 18, continued her remarkable SW19 run and remains the last woman standing in the singles draw
Teenage superstar Raducanu, 18, continued her remarkable SW19 run and remains the last woman standing in the singles draw

Emma Raducanu admitted she would swap straight A*s in her A-Levels for a place in the Wimbledon fourth round after keeping her fairy-tale run alive with victory over Marketa Vondrousova, writes Paul Martin.

Raducanu is a member of the LTA's Pro Scholarship Programme, which provides world-class coaching, medical and financial support to Britain's elite young players with the potential to reach the top 100 within five years.

And the 18-year-old, who also joins Elena Baltacha in 2002 as the first 18-year-old Brit to reach the last 32 at Wimbledon, may get there sooner than that with more performances like the one which saw her dispose of world no.41 Vondrousova in straight sets to delight a jubilant court 12 crowd.

Raducanu - the sole British survivor in the women's singles draw - overcame a shaky first game to convincingly take the first set 6-2 before battling back from 3-0 down in the second to win it 6-4 and set up a third-round tie with Romania's Sorana Cirstea.

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"It's quite incredible, really," she said. 

"I have never played that many tournaments throughout the years for various reasons - injuries, niggles, school - but I've always had that inner belief that when I was given an opportunity at a Championship, I could do it.

"I'm very grateful for this opportunity and I'm just trying to make the most of it.

"I haven't even thought about what's to come. Having not been able to compete much and always held back by something, I feel like I am on holiday and want to stay here if I can.

"I'd have to say [I'd take] round four at Wimbledon [over A*s in A-Levels] - and everyone that knows me would think ‘what?!'. 

"My parents think I'm crazy and won't accept anything less than an A*. That is what the people around me think so I feel I must live up to those expectations, which is why I work so hard."

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The teenager had never played a top-50 ranked player before but showed no signs of being overawed with some superb groundstrokes in the opening set.

Her serve began to falter at the start of the second but the Bromley prospect regained her momentum to avoid a decider and bank £15,500 in the process.

Raducanu's display delighted a vocal crowd on court 12 and the youngster paid tribute to the support for helping her through.

"A home crowd definitely helps," she said.

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"My family have been here watching and I saw a couple of school friends in the crowd as well. 

"I played every point like it was my last at Wimbledon and kept going for my shots, which paid off in the end.

"The next round is another match where I have nothing to lose.

"I'm here enjoying myself and trying to stay here as long as I can, that's the motivation for me.

"The crowd have been so supportive and I want to do them proud, along with everyone who's been supporting me all these years."

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