Emma Raducanu is the last British woman left in the singles draw after the 18-year-old shocked world No 45 Sorana Cirstea; she only made her maiden WTA main draw appearance last month at the Nottingham Open and now she is into the fourth round of Wimbledon
Monday 5 July 2021 07:34, UK
From sitting exams in maths and economics at school to a fairy-tale run at Wimbledon on her main draw debut, British teenager Emma Raducanu is on the road to a successful career.
Like Jack Draper, who also seized his moment to make a name for himself against Novak Djokovic, Raducanu has long been marked out as a potential star of the future.
Initially, she was only given a qualifying wild card to Wimbledon, but was upgraded after she put in strong performances on the grass in Nottingham, and the decision was fully vindicated as she marked her debut with victory over Vitalia Diatchenko.
Raducanu followed that up with a remarkable performance to beat 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova in the second round.
The world No 338 became the youngest British woman to reach round three since the late Elena Baltacha in 2002, and she showed maturity beyond her years to upset Romanian world No 45 Sorana Cirstea.
She now meets world No 75 Ajla Tomljanovic in the fourth round on Monday and she does not want her journey to finish just yet.
"It's incredible. I'm so grateful for this wild card," she said. "Honestly, I just wanted to make the most out of it, try to show that I earned it, try to make the most out of 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 think that's how I'm approaching it.
"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.
"My emotions were I just couldn't put them into words really. I was so overwhelmed.
"The last point, I kind of just dropped my racquet and fell to the floor. It was just also instinctive and in the moment. I had no idea what just happened.
"Right now I'm on such a buzz and such a high."
"I think my parents just think I'm crazy. I won't accept anything less than an A star. I think that's what people around me think about me."
Raducanu was born in Canada to a Romanian father and a Chinese mother before moving to the UK aged two. Her grandmother still lives in Bucharest where the teenager would visit a couple of times a year.
"I love the food, to be honest. I mean, the food is unbelievable. And my grandma's cooking is also something special."
Back in April she was sitting her A-levels in maths and economics at Newstead School in Orpington.
Her progress into the senior ranks has been stalled by injuries, the coronavirus pandemic, and the fact she stayed in school, but she has taken her chance at the All England Club this week.
Following her first-round win on Wednesday, Raducanu said: "I was actually sitting for an exam two months ago. So now to be here at Wimbledon is unbelievable, it's surreal.
"Everyone thinks I'm absolutely fanatic about my school results. They think I have such an inflated ego about it. Actually, I would say I have high standards of myself. That's helped me get to where I am in terms of tennis and also in terms of school results."
She continued: "I think my parents just think I'm crazy. I won't accept anything less than an A star. I think that's what people around me think about me.
"I also feel like I have to live up to that expectation now. That's why I also work so hard to try and get those grades. I'm not sure what I'm going to come back with, but I did my part, I did my best."
Raducanu enjoyed every moment of her first main show court outing.
She said: "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.
"I was just so excited. When I heard the crowd just roar for the first time, I was like, 'Wow, they're so behind me'. I was just feeding off of their energy.
"I'm just so excited I get to play in front of them again. I think yesterday I came out here and I sat courtside for about five minutes.
"They let me get a feel for the court, which I think was very valuable because when I went out there today, I sort of knew what to expect a little bit."
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