Emma Raducanu stuns Marketa Vondrousova to continue Wimbledon fairytale

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Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu continued her Wimbledon fairytale with a sensational win over Marketa Vondrousova to make the third round.

The 18-year-old was only handed a wild card into the main draw at late notice but backed up a round-one victory over Vitalia Diatchenko to claim the biggest triumph of her career on Wednesday with a 6-2 6-4 success on Court 12.

A mixture of powerful hitting and incredible composure from Raducanu saw her deservedly shock the world number 42 in one hour and 12 minutes.

Raducanu, who was 338 in the rankings ahead of her main draw debut at the All England Club, has set up a third-round meeting with Sorana Cirstea, who knocked out 12th seed Victoria Azarenka earlier in the day.

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Katie Boulter’s exit to Aryna Sabalenka on Wednesday meant Raducanu was the last British women in the singles draw and despite a fine maiden win at the Championships, expectations were low against a vastly more experienced opponent.

A late change of venue from Court 18 to Court 12 could have thrown her but she made a ferocious start.

Two long returns in Vondrousova’s opening game were brushed off with a smile and Raducanu soon got on a roll after she got on the board to love.

Up against the 2019 French Open runner-up, the Toronto-born right-hander was not phased and forced her opponent all around the court with an array of powerful shots.

Emma Raducanu  walks off court
Emma Raducanu was all smiles after her second-round win (Adam Davy/PA)

Vondrousova was struggling to match the intensity of the home favourite and a double fault opened up the chance of an early break, which was taken with a superb cross-court winner from the baseline.

Raducanu’s confidence was flowing now and after saving two break points on her own serve, the second with a measured drop shot, she moved within touching distance of the opener when she took another game off the Czech’s serve.

More explosive hitting was forcing the 22-year-old into mistakes and in rapid time Raducanu had gone 5-1 up much to the delight of a buoyant crowd.

While Vondrousova was able to force Raducanu to serve for the set, the Briton had no issues as she clinched the opener in 29 minutes.

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Adrenaline was pumping now for Raducanu, who was born to a Romanian dad and Chinese mum, and was halfway to producing one of the stories of the Championships so far.

But her more experienced opponent showed why she had been ranked as high as 14 two years ago by taking control of the second set although only after Raducanu had been unfortunate to slide into the net as she was about to earn another break point.

Instead Vondrousova, who reached the Australian Open fourth round in January, won a seven-minute game before she made the most of her opponent double-faulting to go a break up.

Raducanu was struggling with serve now and had to compose herself after mistiming her throw. Two more double faults almost put her rival into what may have been an unassailable second-set lead, but her fighting spirit came to the fore again in the fourth game.

A slice of luck with a shot landing the right side of the net proved the catalyst for Raducanu to hold and a roar plus a fist pump to those in attendance showed what it meant.

Emma Raducanu produced an explosive array of hitting in a second round win at Wimbledon
Raducanu produced an explosive array of hitting (Adam Davy/PA)

Momentum had swung with Vondrousova losing her focus and speaking to the umpire about the noise from the crowd.

Now in the zone, Raducanu stayed calm and forced more mistakes before a stunning backhand winner secured the break.

After the next three games stayed on serve, a tie-breaker looked on the cards but Raducanu kept pushing her opponent to the limit with shots to the back of the court.

Vondrousova had little answer and after another unforced error gave the Briton a second break, she now had the chance to serve for a place in the third round.

In quick time a 40-15 lead was established and a 108mph serve forced another shot into the net from Vondrousova to ensure Britain will be represented in the last 32.

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