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Emma Raducanu hopes to catch England game despite ‘not ideal’ Wimbledon schedule

Emma Raducanu’s fun fortnight at Wimbledon is being dampened only by the possibility of missing England’s Euro 20204 quarter-final.

The 21-year-old continued to conjure memories of her stunning US Open win by defeating ninth seed Maria Sakkari to ease into the fourth round on Friday.

Raducanu had thumped Sakkari in the semi-finals in New York and she again lost only five games under the roof on Centre Court, reminding the tennis world of her rare talent in a 6-2 6-3 victory.

She looks to have a great chance of reaching at least the quarter-finals with little-known qualifier Lulu Sun next up but before that she will make her much-anticipated mixed doubles debut alongside Andy Murray.

The pair have been scheduled fourth on Court One on Saturday, leaving Raducanu fearing she may not be able to watch England’s clash with Switzerland.

“The scheduling of that was not ideal,” said the British number three, who warmed up in an England shirt ahead of the previous match.

“It’s just an amazing opportunity to be able to play with him. It’s something that I’m going to cherish.”

Having not beaten a top-10 player in her career, Raducanu has now done it twice in a fortnight, and she has matched her best run at the All England Club from her breakthrough event three years ago.

Raducanu, who will be back in the top 100 after Wimbledon, described the match as “up there with the most fun I’ve had on a tennis court”.

She played down the parallels between this fortnight and New York after swatting aside Elise Mertens in the last round, but there certainly are some, not least the fact she arrived here feeling confident and with plenty of wins under her belt.

Over the last month she has reached her first grass-court semi-final in Nottingham and then beat a top-10 player for the first time, seeing off Jessica Pegula in Eastbourne.

Emma Raducanu holds her arm aloft
Emma Raducanu celebrates (Zac Goodwin/PA)

The draw has opened up invitingly but Raducanu, who again found inspiration in following Carlos Alcaraz on to court, remains determined not to look too far ahead, saying: “I think staying present in the moment is what got me this far. I’m not going to start changing anything.

“I was able to turn some scorelines in the game around, being 15-40. I think that’s the best way for me to approach it. I think also for me to be winning that match against a top-10 opponent on Centre Court, it’s a beautiful feeling and one that I really want to savour.

“Tennis is pretty brutal in the way you have to enjoy it tonight and then tomorrow you’re already thinking about the next one. You can win the tournament but you can lose first round the next week. It’s the sport. I’m just trying to cherish every moment I have here.”

Sakkari has been consistent on the WTA Tour but underperformed at the grand slams since her run in New York three years ago.

The Greek made a wobbly start and there were too many errors throughout but the big difference between the pair was on the crucial points, where Raducanu was exceptional.

She saved five break points across three games in the first set, two with aces – one a second serve on to the line – and another a searing forehand down the line, while she clinched a second break at 4-2 with a pinpoint defensive lob on to the baseline.

Sakkari also had two break points in the second set but Raducanu served superbly, and the Kent player looked utterly delighted when a final forehand from the Greek flew wide.

She rated the match her second favourite behind the US Open final, saying: “Even the points I was losing, the long points or certain situations, I found myself smiling or laughing to myself because I was just enjoying competing.

“I was just enjoying the battle, I was just appreciating the good tennis that was being played by my opponent, who is of course going to come out with some amazing points because she’s class.”