Raducanu is enjoying the ride

Emma Raducanu, Britain’s last hope of singles Wimbledon glory this year, believes she can reach the quarter-finals on her debut, declaring: “Why not me?”

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. Right now I'm on such a buzz and such a high. Emma Raducanu

The 18-year-old wild card from Bromley, world-ranked 338, takes on match favourite Ajla Tomljanovic on Centre Court looking to continue her dream odyssey.

She said: “I’m so grateful for this wildcard. Honestly, I just wanted to make the most out of it, try to show that I earned 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’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.

“Right now I’m on such a buzz and such a high.”

And the first British teenager in the fourth round since 1959 takes on a player 75 on the global list clearly enjoying the ride.

Raducanu has impressed the experts on court and charmed those off it, telling us, in a natural, uninhibited way and sunshine smile, about doing her laundry in the post-match interview after stunning world No 45 Sorana Cirstea on No.1 Court in the third round.

She told the crowd: “Who would have thought; it is funny because at the start when I was packing to come into the bubble, my parents were like, ‘Aren’t you packing too many sets of match kit?”

Her experienced coach Nigel Sears, Andy Murray’s father-in-law, reckons Raducanu can clean up, predicting that the “sky’s the limit” for the youngster born in Canada of Romanian father Ian and Chinese mum Renee.

Sears, who has coached Ana Ivanovic, a former No.1 and a French Open champion, and Daniela Hantuchova, a former world top five for Slovakia, and worked with Raducanu for three years before becoming her full-time coach this year, said: ‘Quite frankly, I think the sky’s the limit, I think Emma compares very, very favourably in terms of material (to top players he has coached). I always have felt that, I thought that from day one.


Emma Raducanu on the practice courts with her coach Nigel Sears, preparing for her fourth round match on Monday

AELTC/David Gray - Pool/Getty Images

‘She has the necessary qualities and she’s hungry enough and eager, eager to learn, and, you know, she’s ambitious and she wants to do it and I just think that given the right opportunities and more match experience, I think she’ll make good progress. It’s really up to her how far she goes.”

On her Wimbledon run, he added: “I think she’s handled this superbly, to be honest with you. I couldn’t ask for any more. Very smart girl, and very grounded. She’s very ambitious, and she thinks big, which is one of the things I really liked about her when I first met her some years back. I just think she’s born to play tennis and she likes the stage, and she’s eating it up. She’s all about achieving. So that’s what I mean by thinking big, you know, she’s not easily impressed. And she is a smart girl. So she has an inquisitive mind, then she registers everything. She’s very together.”

Raducanu, awaiting her A level results, is learning her lessons fast in tennis, although her parents have been “cautious” with the amount she has played.

Sears said: “The thing is that if you look back at the few tournaments she has played, her win-loss ratio is incredible. I think wins are really related totally to your level. And her level has always been very high in everything that she’s done.

”Yes she doesn’t have too much experience, that’s the impressive thing. I mean, to be able to play at a high level and win matches at Challengers is one thing, to step up and play seasoned pros on a big stage is quite another.”

Raducanu defeated qualifier Vitalia Diatchenko and ex-French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova on route to the third round and, after making the last 16, former Oasis singer Liam Gallagher tweeted: “@Emma Raducanu BIBLICAL.”

Quotes from Metro and Sky





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