Emma Raducanu has long road ahead despite glimmers of genius at Wimbledon

Emma Raducanu has long road ahead despite glimmers of genius at Wimbledon

Despite having managed to escape the wilderness, the 21-year-old still faces challenges and has a lot of work ahead of her.

It was obvious Emma Raducanu’s time at Wimbledon was running out when she lost her composure in the face of the unrelenting pressure from the icy qualifier Lulu Sun during their three-set match on Sunday. Raducanu let up a fatigued double fault to end an intense, breathless service game that left her 4-2 down in set three. Minutes later, her opponent closed out the match to make her first-ever Wimbledon quarterfinalist.

Raducanu exited Centre Court properly frustrated, a huge opportunity lost. Nevertheless, she made a significant progress by making it to the fourth round of Wimbledon after spending almost three years in the wilderness following her US Open victory.

Emma Raducanu said she had got her ire back.

Even though Raducanu gave an excellent performance at Wimbledon, it has been even more amazing to watch her put together a run of consistent wins at the highest level of the sport for the first time in her career. Raducanu has led her country, Great Britain, to a thrilling victory over France in the last six events. She then advanced to the quarterfinals at Stuttgart. Her march to the Wimbledon fourth round came after a dismal first-round loss in Madrid and a contentious choice to miss the last few weeks of the clay-court season. Her last two matches were a quarterfinal at Eastbourne and a semifinal at Nottingham.

She didn’t play against any of the top ten opponents throughout her US Open run, but she has already defeated top opponents in back-to-back weeks in rather different ways. Raducanu decisively defeated Maria Sakkari, ranked No. 9, in Eastbourne, after surviving a match point to defeat world No. 5 Jessica Pegula. This marked Raducanu’s first trip back to the Grand Slam quarterfinals in three years. She has demonstrated bold, aggressive tennis play by slicing apart her opponents’ second serves, attempting to establish herself with her forehand, and grabbing the ball early.

Raducanu has had many reasons to doubt herself over the past few years, even though she is one of the world’s finest tennis players. In addition to proving to the world that she is still alive and capable of competing against the finest players in the world and winning matches, Raducanu has undoubtedly found satisfaction in proving her mettle.

However, Raducanu’s most recent setbacks have also highlighted her remaining distance. A day after defeating Pegula in Eastbourne, Raducanu was utterly destroyed by Daria Kasatkina due to her inability to handle the challenging and windy conditions. She was flat and tight with a big opportunity on the line against Sun, having played freely against Sakkari.

Raducanu does well when things are going her way, but she is still learning how to perform when things are not going exactly as planned. The 21-year-old disclosed following her defeat against Sun that she was also dealing with a bad back in addition to her stiff wrist. She added that she has seldom ever practiced or competed against left-handed players. As the second week of grand slam competition draws near, several players are coping with physical issues; the finest players figure out a method to make it through.

Raducanu has decided to travel to the United States early and start her North American hard-court swing in Washington, DC, when many of her colleagues are getting ready for the Olympics. The next task will be to keep up her progress week after week and learn how to prevail on the court regardless of the circumstances or her own feelings.

Raducanu’s tournament came to an unhappy end when she opted out of her scheduled mixed doubles match with Andy Murray, which was intended to be the 37-year-old’s final Wimbledon appearance. This was despite Raducanu’s comeback to the top 100. A substantial amount of fuel was thrown to the fire after Andy Murray’s mother Judy tweeted that Raducanu’s choice was “astonishing.” After hours of backlash and debate on social media, Judy Murray clarified a day later that her tweet was only sarcastic.

The unfortunate outcome of the proposed Murray-Raducanu alliance was foreseeable, notwithstanding the heated debate. Raducanu is one of the most prone to injuries among players and has hardly gone more than a few weeks without experiencing some kind of physical problem since she first joined the circuit. In addition, she has only ever played doubles once while competing professionally. It was always evident that, in the event of any physical problems, she would put her singles play and her health first.

Murray was reportedly devastated by Raducanu’s withdrawal since it dashed his chances of competing at Wimbledon again. To make sure he made it to the court, though, he had the option of selecting from a much larger pool of trustworthy and competent doubles partners.

Murray, though, will be alright. Along with his brother, he already had a fitting and heartfelt farewell last week, and at the end of July, when he competes in the Olympics in Paris, he will have another chance to say goodbye.

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