Two months ago, Emma Raducanu was revising for her A-level exams in maths and economics.
She played her first match on the main WTA Tour just four weeks ago.
The 18-year-old went into Wimbledon as the lowest-ranked British player, earning a last-minute wildcard entry.
But incredibly, she enters the tournament’s second week as the only remaining Brit.
After defeating Czech star Marketa Vondrousova 6-2 6-4 on Friday AEST, Raducanu became the youngest British woman to reach the third round of Wimbledon since Elena Baltacha achieved the feat in 2002.
But the best was yet to come, with the teenager toppling Romania’s Sorana Cirstea in straight sets to become the youngest British woman to reach the last 16 since Christine Truman in 1959.
Raducanu was No. 338 on the WTA rankings ahead of her maiden grand slam tournament, but is guaranteed a spot in the top 200 following her victory over world No. 45 Cirstea.
Before Wimbledon, she had never faced a top 100 opponent.
Wonderful. Only a matter of time before there’s a Raducanu Ridge at #WIMBLEDONhttps://t.co/LTrpkLz2Yw
“This is by far the biggest court I have played on, so I think I coped quite well,” Raducanu said following her round three victory.
“(The crowd) really got me through the whole match.
“Who’d have thought? When I was packing to come into the bubble my parents were like, ‘Aren’t you packing too many pairs of match kit?’ I think I will have to do some laundry in the hotel tonight.
“Playing on Court One at Wimbledon is what you dream of. Not many people get the opportunity to. I thought if I’m not going to enjoy Court One at Wimbledon, home crowd, like what are you going to enjoy? This is the cherry at the top of tennis.”
Raducanu has received US$35,185 in career prize money to date, but will pocket at least US$255,478 from her stunning Wimbledon campaign.
That figure will jump to US$423,445 if she defeats Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic on Tuesday morning AEST.
“She will definitely have the crowd,” Tomljanovic conceded over the weekend.
The crowd celebrates Emma Raducanu’s victory over Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.Source:AFP
Raducanu has seemingly flourished in front of an adoring home crowd, feeding off the energy exerted by the vocal spectators.
And the entire British population is starting to fall in love with the young Brit, who looks set to become the nation’s next tennis sensation.
“I had never heard of Emma Raducanu before this week, and the whole world will know about her now,” three-time grand slam champion Tracy Austin said.
“This is incredible. This is the beginning of a huge career. This is a match that only comes in your dreams.”
She has hardly any games at this level and she's now dominating a top 50 player. This is astonishing. Her technique is flawless. And the audience already loves her!
How impressive was Raducanu! Absolutely fearless! Fantastic! #Wimbledon
So we're all Emma Raducanu fans now.
Emma Raducanu is going to be a megastar #Wimbledon
Raducanu started playing tennis at five years old. A shy child, her parents encouraged her to try different hobbies to boost her confidence.
“Dad threw me into every sport you could imagine. I was doing horseriding, swimming, tap dancing, basketball, skiing, golf, go-karting. All alongside tennis,” she said.
At 12, she won her first International Tennis Federation under-18 trophy. In 2018, she made it to the Wimbledon junior quarter-finals.
Former English tennis player Anne Keothavong labelled Raducanu a “real student of the game”.
“She’s someone who studies her opponent, she studies her own tennis,” she said.
“She’ll watch replays, she’ll watch videos and she’ll talk about it. And she’s curious. So she’s not shy about asking different people for bits of information and her dad is like that as well. They’re happy to tap into lots of different people and take what they want from it and go with it. And it’s worked for her.”
Raducanu’s round four match against Tomljanovic is scheduled to commence at 1.15am AEST on Tuesday morning.
“Tomljanovic isn’t beating Raducanu, I don’t think,” British tennis star Dan Evans warned on The Tennis Podcast.
Emma Raducanu at a practice session.Source:Getty Images
– with The Sun
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