Emma Raducanu becomes mentality monster as she dismisses Maria Sakkari in straight sets


Emma Raducanu roars in celebration

Emma Raducanu’s dominant victory over Maria Sakkari means she’s into the fourth round for the first time since 2021 – Getty Images/Rob Newell

Emma Raducanu claimed her first top-ten win at a major as she calmly ousted ninth seed Maria Sakkari to surge through to the second week of Wimbledon. To borrow a phrase from Jurgen Klopp, this was the performance of a mentality monster.

Here was a superbly mature and composed showing from Raducanu against a classy opponent. It’s true that Sakkari sprayed the ball at times, committing 31 unforced errors, but then she was under heavy pressure from the first point.

“I’m most proud of how focused and determined I was in every single point, in every single moment,” said Raducanu, who leapt for joy as she celebrated this magnificent victory.

“Maria [Sakkari] is a top-10 opponent. In a way, I came in with a free swing. But she is so tough, she has amazing weapons, I knew I had to battle. I tried to not let the scoreline affect me. You just have to play every point like it could be your last, not to be dramatic!”

Raducanu may not possess enormous weight of shot, by modern tennis standards, and she was struggling to match the venom of Sakkari’s ball-strike. But her footwork and placement make her a fiendishly difficult opponent, especially on a grass court.

Sakkari was discombobulated by Raducanu’s smart choices and unrelenting accuracy, as well as by her ice-cold ability to focus on the big points.

There were seven break points on the Raducanu serve in the match, but Sakkari could not convert a single one. Among these, two were saved by aces, and one by a forehand winner on the third shot of the rally.

Everyone in the locker-room knows that Raducanu possesses one of the cleanest backhands in the game: the question is how well she will serve and how well she will hit her forehand.

That inside-out forehand winner to save break point was perhaps the most telling blow of the match, because it is not a shot Raducanu normally hits. The freedom in her game made her believe the shot was on, and she duly converted.

“Today was really up there with the most fun I’ve had on a tennis court,” said Raducanu, who has what looks like a gimme in the fourth round against unknown New Zealander Lulu Sun, the world No123.

Raducanu made a run to the fourth round here in 2021 as a complete unknown, before suffering breathing difficulties and retiring from the match against Ajla Tomljanovic. Now it would be a surprise if she didn’t reach the quarter-finals.

“I really enjoyed every single moment,” Raducanu told Annabel Croft in her on-court interview. “I was telling myself ‘You don’t know how many times you are going to get the chance in your life to play in front of a full Centre Court,’ so I’m really grateful for the support.”

In fact, the court was a little under-populated when Raducanu and Sakkari walked out, as so many people had gone for a loo break after the conclusion of Carlos Alcaraz’s five-set win.

Yet her popularity with the home fans is such that those remaining still made enough noise to celebrate her early incisions: most particularly a break in the first game of the match that was rather donated by a misfiring Sakkari.

As Sakkari settled, the intensity climbed. The rallies, when they came, were rat-a-tat affairs with no pause for breath as both players ran hither and thither at pace. The longer they lasted, the more likely they were to fall Sakkari’s way, as she generates serious ball-speed from her muscular frame.

The decisive statistic, though, was how the short points fell. When they lasted four shots or fewer, Raducanu came out on top 61 per cent of the time – while that figure fell to only 47 per cent of the rest.

Her mastery of serve and return, then, were the keys. Raducanu rebuilt her serve during those quiet weeks leading up the grass-court season, and the new-look motion was working wonders.

Emma Raducanu – Emma Raducanu becomes mentality monster as she dismisses Maria Sakkari in straight setsEmma Raducanu – Emma Raducanu becomes mentality monster as she dismisses Maria Sakkari in straight sets

The Briton’s improved serve has propelled her into the fourth round – Getty Images/Julian Finney

More than three-quarters of her first deliveries landed in the box, and not just in the middle either of the box either, so that she earned a constant stream of cheap points.

As for her returns – perhaps the strongest part of her game – they recalled memories of her extraordinary New York run in 2021.

Time and again, she drove Sakkari’s second serve back past her for winners, and this display of strength forced more risks from her opponent – with the inevitable consequence that the double-faults started stacking up.

Are there echoes here – especially in the sequence of three consecutive straight-sets wins – of Raducanu’s drive through that triumphant US Open three years ago?

Perhaps, but this is a very different player. She is no longer an unknown, no longer playing with no pressure on her shoulders. Also, the balls here are much heavier, and the conditions slower than they were at Flushing Meadows.

In that unforgettable fortnight, Raducanu played lights-out tennis, destroying opponents who had no idea what to expect. Here, she is outcompeting people with her extraordinary poise under pressure.

It all bodes well for a deep run for Raducanu, who is already guaranteed to return to the world’s top 100 when the next set of rankings are published next week. (She dropped outside the top 300 after the seven-month lay-off enforced by last year’s double-wrist surgery.)

As her agent Max Eisenbud put it in February, “Once she gets to the second week in a tournament, she is not gonna be afraid to win it.”


Raducanu makes light work of Sakkari: As it happened


07:34 PM BST

Raducanu’s possible route to the final…

Not to tempt fate or anything…


07:29 PM BST

From Centre Court…

There was a rather different atmosphere on Centre Court this evening compared with Raducanu’s fellow Brit Jacob Fearnley’s gutsy, albeit losing, performance against Novak Djokovic yesterday. While there was plenty of raucous support for Fearnley, it was more of the encouraging sort laced with hope rather than expectation.

There was expectation in the warm air under the roof today, however. And with the way Raducanu has closed out this match in straight sets, there is more of a sense of the crowd savouring a Taylor Swift performance than a tennis match. For many, this has been an ambition three years in the making to watch her win in person on such hallowed turf.


07:25 PM BST

Raducanu speaks…

“I think today was really up there with the most fun I have had on a tennis court, I really enjoyed every single moment. I was telling myself you don’t know how many times you are going to get the chance in your life to play in front of a full Centre Court so I’m really grateful for the support.

“I’m most proud of how focused and determined I was in every single point, in every single moment. Maria [Sakkari] is a top 10 opponent. In a way, I came in with a free swing. But she is so tough, she has amazing weapons, I knew I had to battle. I tried to not let the scoreline affect me. You just have to play every point like it could be your last, not to be dramatic!

“Having your inner passion, win or lose, I’m just trying to win every day. Just giving your best. Some days you win the day and play great tennis then that can be enough. Some days you can play amazing tennis and that’s the key as long as you give you all every day.”


07:23 PM BST

Excellent display

A fortnight ago, Emma Raducanu had never beaten a top-ten player. Now she’s beaten two. There’s no denying she is moving in the right direction.


07:22 PM BST

Raducanu beats Sakkari 6-2, 6-3

Raducanu fancies getting this wrapped up here you feel. She climbs into a forehand return drawing another error from Sakkari before doing exactly the same on the backhand side.

Sakkari punches back though, finding the line with a forehand. She surely has to make Raducanu serve this out. A decent serve gets her back to 30-30.

Match points for Raducanu as she steps in and dispatches a winner off Sakkari’s second serve. The Greek saves it though as Raducanu goes long with a forehand and we’re back to deuce.

Another match point…Raducanu’s return of serve has been simply superb this afternoon. Can she finish the job? No. Excellent serving from Sakkari keeps her head above water but then a double fault…another match point.

WHICH SHE TAKES! EMMA RADUCANU IS INTO THE FOURTH ROUND!

Emma Raducanu celebrates beating Maria Sakkari (not pictured) on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, LondonEmma Raducanu celebrates beating Maria Sakkari (not pictured) on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London

Emma Raducanu celebrates beating Maria Sakkari (not pictured) on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London


07:15 PM BST

Raducanu 6-2, 5-3 Sakkari*

Raducanu challenges after a first serve is called long and it’s a rare success…5mm of the ball touches the line. Raducanu then has a nasty slip after serving but still wins the points and gets up seemingly none the worse.

Weak slice drifts long from Raducanu but again her serving gets her out of jail. Another huge serve down the tee forces Sakkari to go long. Again Sakkari misses and this time slaps her thigh in frustration. Those really are killing her.

She nets again and Raducanu holds..she’s a game away from the fourth round.


07:10 PM BST

Raducanu* 6-2, 4-3 Sakkari

Big service game for Sakkari. We’re reaching make-or-break time for her you feel. Raducanu screams ‘COME ON’ after finding the line with a forehand down the line.

Sakkari responds well though, forcing Raducanu wide before the Briton goes wide with a slice backhand.

Sakkari holds and asks Raducanu to keep her lead.


07:05 PM BST

Raducanu 6-2, 4-2 Sakkari*

Raducanu goes for it all with a big crosscourt forehand but this time she veers into the tramlines but she follows that with a really solid point, drawing another error from Sakkari.

Raducanu’s ability to avoid errors in clusters has really been a hallmark of her game thus far. The same cannot be said for Sakkari, she goes long with a forehand to hand Raducnau another cheap point before netting on return.

One-two punch again from Raducanu and she holds.


07:01 PM BST

Raducanu* 6-2, 3-2 Sakkari

Sakkari does well to take the first two points of the game after coming out on top of a long baseline exchange.

No luck there though, as Raducanu steps in on a second serve and slaps it crosscourt. Those second serves from Sakkari are easy picking for Raducanu at present.

Big ace from Sakkari gives and she holds in gritty style two points later.

Maria Sakkari in action against Emma Raducanu (not pictured) on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London.Maria Sakkari in action against Emma Raducanu (not pictured) on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London.

Maria Sakkari in action against Emma Raducanu (not pictured) on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London.


06:58 PM BST

Politics and sport liase

There is the old adage that sport and politics don’t mix. However, given the day, there is a sense even here on Centre Court that change is afoot.

Politics is very much part of Sakkari’s camp. Her boyfriend, Konstantinos Mitsotakis, is in fact the son of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and he looks to be amongst those in Sakkari’s player’s box.


06:57 PM BST

Raducanu 6-2, 3-1 Sakkari*

Raducanu is playing here no doubt but she is also being fed so many cheap points by Sakkari. 0-30 after two poor forehands from the Greek but that’s better as she puts her full weight through a mid-court forehand.

Raducanu then double faults and we’re back to 30-30, this feels like a big moment. Raducanu has the chance to put the point to bed but goes for a strange backhand slice at the net which goes wide.

Break point for Sakkari…which Raducanu saves thanks to a great one-two punch behind a big first serve. Sakkari manufactures another though as Raducanu goes long…so much tension now.

ACE FROM RADUCANU! She follows that with another excellent serve wide to the Sakkari forehand. Her next serve is also excellent but Sakkari gets her own slice of luck as a framed return takes the top of the net and dribbles over.

Back to deuce but against Raducanu’s serve is on point, forcing an error from Sakkari. This is her chance you feel and she takes it.

GREAT HOLD FROM RADUCANU.


06:48 PM BST

Raducanu* 6-2, 2-1 Sakkari

Massive return from Raducanu leaves Sakkari no chance whatsoever. She follows that with another devastating return after a weak second serve from the Greek.

Door ajar again here for Raducanu. Sakari gets on the board in the game after Raducanu misses a return but Sakkari then nets an easy mid-court backhand and Raducanu has two break points.

Sakkari goes long AND RADUCANU BREAKS!

Britain's Emma Raducanu celebrates winning a point against Greece's Maria Sakkari during their women's singles tennis match on the fifth day of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 5, 2024.Britain's Emma Raducanu celebrates winning a point against Greece's Maria Sakkari during their women's singles tennis match on the fifth day of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 5, 2024.

Britain’s Emma Raducanu celebrates winning a point against Greece’s Maria Sakkari during their women’s singles tennis match on the fifth day of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 5, 2024.


06:44 PM BST

Raducanu 6-2, 1-1 Sakkari*

Brilliant return from Sakkari to get to 15-30. She has just upped her level at touch at the start of this second set but gives away a cheap point there going for too much on a return after a Raducanu second serve.

30-30…Sakkari nets cheaply and Raducanu has a chance to get out of this service game unscathed. Which she does! There was a touch of tension in that game but she came through it well.


06:41 PM BST

Kartal loses

Sonay Kartal’s promising run at Wimbledon came to an end after the British qualifier was overpowered by Coco Gauff. 

In the biggest match of her career on Wimbledon’s second biggest showcourt, Kartal fell to a 6-4 6-0 defeat to the American heavyweight but produced magical moments to belie her world ranking of 298.

In an all-action first set, the 22-year-old recovered from early nerves – and an immediate break of serve – before going toe-to-toe with the US Open champion. 

At 5ft 2, she might be short in stature compared to most of her colleagues on the tour, but Kartal makes up for it in other ways. She is a powerful and strategic hitter of the ball, and she diligently stretched the No 2 seed across the baseline for large periods of the match.

”She played a high level, especially in the first set,” said Gauff, who flew into an early advantage in a lopsided second set, by which time Kartal had used up her energy reserves and was subsequently bagelled.  It’s been a great tournament for her, especially at home and I hope she will be back for more in the future.”


06:39 PM BST

Raducanu* 6-2, 0-1 Sakkari

Sakkari doubles faults again…that’s her fifth of the match already by my maths. She recovers well though, forcing Raducanu wide on her back hand before putting away a neat winner down the line.

She shows some touch at the net next, following a good approach with a deft backhand volley at the net.

Good hold from the Greek.


06:35 PM BST

Raducanu 6-2 Sakkari*

Big winner from Sakkari acts as a reminder the danger she poses from the back of the court. Raducanu has had more fortune when mixing up her play than engaging in long exchanges from the back of the court.

More good defence from Raducanu but this time a desperate lob flies agnonisingly long. She’s soon on the right side of fortune though as a net cord earns her a cheap point.

A poorly timed double fault follows but Sakkari’s break point disappears after an excellent first serve from the Briton.

Sakkari nets an easy forehand return and Raducanu has a look at a first set point…WHICH SHE TAKES!


06:27 PM BST

Raducanu* 5-2 Sakkari

Big service game for Sakkari starts with a double fault and then she nets a simple mid-court forehand. Chance for Raducanu…but that’s excellent from Sakkari, going wide with a kick serve to the Raducanu backhand before putting away an easy forehand.

But then she DOUBLE FAULTS again and Raducanu has break point which SHE TAKES WITH A SUPERB LOB.

Incredible defence from Raducanu, guessing the right direction of a Sakkari dry volley before finding a delightful backhand lob.

She will serve for the set with new balls.

Charisma is one of those intangible qualities. Despite still coming across as the young woman that she is in interviews, Emma Raducanu has immense on court charisma in terms of how she draws in fans to be on her side. The way she gives brief, but impactful, glances towards the stands from beneath her visor every time she wins a point is creating an unnerving atmosphere for Sakkari.

The way Raducanu commands this educated crowd is as if she is currently in the world top 10 rather than being ranked at No 135. She is undaunted against world No 9 Sakkari, forcing the 28-year-old to make errors at the net.
 
You only had to see the ovation at 5-2 up to demonstrate the Raducanu show is very much on.

Emma Raducanu reacts during her match against Maria Sakkari on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, LondonEmma Raducanu reacts during her match against Maria Sakkari on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London

Emma Raducanu reacts during her match against Maria Sakkari on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London


06:22 PM BST

Raducanu 4-2 Sakkari*

Big ace down the middle from Raducanu. Her serve really has been a impressive feature of her game so far in this tournament.

Raducanu goes long with a forehand but still has control of the game at 30-15 but then she double faults off a net cord and suddenly is under some pressure on serve.

Sakkari gets the better of an exchange from the back of the court and Raducanu now faces a break point…which SHE SAVES thanks to brilliant running forehand down the line.

Then, it’s defence-into-attack from Raducanu as she goes high with a defensive lob before climbing into a forehand.

Sakkari nets…brilliant hold from Raducanu.


06:15 PM BST

Raducanu* 3-2 Sakkari

Double fault to start the game from Sakkari. There is a bit of pressure on her here. Raducanu has looked fairly solid so far so an easy hold should be what she has in mind.

That’s not going to help though. Sakkari goes for an ambitious backhand drop shot but nets before Raducanu brings up three break points with an excellent return.

Sakkari saves the first…and the second as Raducanu goes long on a forehand. Sakkari gets out of jail again as Raducanu nets a smash with the point at her mercy.

Sakkari holds. That’s superb from 0-40 down.

Maria Sakkari of Greece plays a forehand return to Emma Raducanu of Britain during their third round match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Friday, July 5, 2024Maria Sakkari of Greece plays a forehand return to Emma Raducanu of Britain during their third round match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Friday, July 5, 2024

Maria Sakkari of Greece plays a forehand return to Emma Raducanu of Britain during their third round match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Friday, July 5, 2024


06:10 PM BST

Raducanu 3-1 Sakkari*

Raducanu defends well but Sakkari’s ball-striking when she’s on song is visually very impressive. She finds the line with a big forehand winner but Raducanu responds with a superb one-two punch after a good serve.

Easy hold to 15 for Briton.


06:06 PM BST

Lord Lloyd Webber hanging off balcony…almost

Centre Court was only at about half capacity during Emma Raducanu’s warm-up and first game against Greek Maria Sakkari. However, due to the 2021 US Open winner’s star power, there is a buzz around the stands. 

The seats won’t stay empty long, but you can’t blame the fans after Carlos Alcaraz’s thrilling five set win against the American Francis Tiafoe. 

However, thoughts went straight to the Briton in the next match when regular Royal Box guest Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber was almost hanging off the balcony with enthusiasm as Tiafoe was given a standing ovation for his dogged effort. One couldn’t help but be reminded of Evita singing Don’t Cry for Me Argentina from one of Lloyd Webber’s most famous works.


06:05 PM BST

Raducanu* 2-1 Sakkari

Boom. No messing from Raducanu there as she climbs into a return after a meek serve from Sakkari. Great energy from Raducanu early on as she looks to make a similar start to the one that put her in such stead against Elise Mertnes in the last round.

Greta response from Sakkari though and she goes winner, then ace to grab control of her service game.

She holds.


06:02 PM BST

Raducanu 2-0 Sakkari*

Sakkari has Raducanu on the run but the Briton does well to get a racket on two balls that should have been easy put-away for her opponent. Sakkari gets to 0-30 with a crunching forehand crosscourt that leaves Raducanu no chance whatsoever.

A smidge of pressure early on here for Raducanu. Can she respond? Yes…a deep second serve gets her on top of the point early before a deep forehand forces Sakkari to go long.

Good from Sakkari again though and she now has the chance to break straight back. Raducanu saves the first and the second, with a big ace.

Two quick points later and Raducanu holds. Good signs early on here for her.

Emma Raducanu in action against Maria Sakkari on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, LondonEmma Raducanu in action against Maria Sakkari on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London

Emma Raducanu in action against Maria Sakkari on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London


05:55 PM BST

Raducanu* 1-0 Sakkari (*denotes next server)

Solid start from Sakkari in these very early moments. She has one of the bigger serves on the WTA tour so that is a weapon Raducanu will need to go at least some way to neutralising.

The Briton’s first points come after a decent return forces Sakkari to net with a backhand but the Greek player quickly makes amends, whipping a backhand winner crosscourt.

Sakkari then goes long with a forehand but still has one game point to try and hold serve…but she spurns it, going long after short exchange from the back of the court.

Deuce…DOUBLE FAULT from Sakkari and out of nowhere Raducanu has a break point in the very first game of the match. Sakkari then goes long and Raducanu does get a valuable early break.


05:49 PM BST

Here we go

Sakkari will serve first…


05:49 PM BST

We are moments away here

The warm-ups are just drawing to a close. This is the first time Raducanu faces a seeded player at Wimbledon.


05:43 PM BST

Great response from the crowd

You can feel the expectation almost. There are a few empty seats but they will surely fill up quickly. You can’t blame people for wanting a break after that Alcaraz win which lasted just shy of four hours.


05:42 PM BST

Here they come

Maria Sakkari and Emma Raducanu are poised to walk out onto Centre Court.


05:36 PM BST

The champ survives

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates beating Frances Tiafoe (not pictured) on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London. Picture date: Friday July 5, 2024. PA PhotoCarlos Alcaraz celebrates beating Frances Tiafoe (not pictured) on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London. Picture date: Friday July 5, 2024. PA Photo

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates beating Frances Tiafoe (not pictured) on day five of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London. Picture date: Friday July 5, 2024. PA Photo


05:33 PM BST

Famous face

He may not be a household name in the UK but Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the best American football player in the world bar none, is enjoying the action on Centre Court this afternoon.

Patrick Mahomes and his wife Brittany, right, watch the third round match between Spain's Carlos Alcaraz and Francis Tiafoe of the United States on Centre Court at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Friday, July 5, 2024Patrick Mahomes and his wife Brittany, right, watch the third round match between Spain's Carlos Alcaraz and Francis Tiafoe of the United States on Centre Court at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Friday, July 5, 2024

Patrick Mahomes and his wife Brittany, right, watch the third round match between Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz and Francis Tiafoe of the United States on Centre Court at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Friday, July 5, 2024


05:29 PM BST

ALCARAZ WINS!

There were some hairy moments for Alacaraz there but his class told in the end. He beats Frances Tiafoe 5-7, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2.

Raducanu follows next.


05:23 PM BST

Alcaraz running away with it

The defending champion leads 5-1 in the decider. It’s been a valiant effort by Tiafoe but it looks like his tournament will soon be over.


05:21 PM BST

Best bettings sites

Betting on Wimbledon today? Take a look at these best betting sites for free bets and betting offers.


05:19 PM BST

Mixed doubles

A sub-text to this upcoming clash is the discussion around Raducanu’s decision to team up with Andy Murray in the mixed doubles. The case for it is fairly clear and it will surely be special to play a part in the last Wimbledon for the greatest British tennis player of all time.

That said, Raducanu’s track record with injuries and physically wearing down during matches does beg the question of whether any sort of extra match time could jeopardise her chance in the singles – IF she wants this afternoon.

Read more here.


05:10 PM BST

Alcaraz breaks

Massive moment. Alcaraz now leads 2-1 in the fifth set and serves next. A potentially decisive moment in what has been a titanic struggle on Centre Court.


05:08 PM BST

As if it was ever in doubt


04:56 PM BST

Alcaraz wins tiebreak!

Raducanu fans are going to have to wait a little longer. Alcaraz takes the tiebreak and we are going to a fifth set on Centre Court.


04:54 PM BST

Alcaraz latest

Defending champion holds a 5-2 lead over Tiafoe in the vital fourth-set tiebreak. A reminder he is 2-1 down in sets so needs this to take the match to a deciding set.


04:52 PM BST

The last (and only) time these two met…

…was the 2021 US Open semi-final. Here’s a reminder of what happened.


04:49 PM BST

Alcaraz latest

Match has entered a fourth-set tiebreak in which Alacaraz currently holds a 2-0 lead.


04:46 PM BST

Tournament so far…

Emma Raducanu:

First round: vs. Renata Zarazua 7-6[0] 6-3
Second round: vs. Elise Mertens 6-1 6-2

Maria Sakkari:

First round: vs. McCartney Kessler 6-3 6-1
Second round: vs. Arantxa Rus 7-5 6-3


04:43 PM BST

Raducanu next on…

…Centre Court, where we are currently in the midst of an epic between Carlos Alcaraz and Frances Tiafoe. The latter leads 2-1 on sets as type with the match currently deep into the fourth set and is currently serving to take the match to a tiebreak.

We will keep you updated on the progress of that match as it develops.


04:40 PM BST

Raducanu’s back on Centre

The warm glow of Andy Murray’s farewell from Centre Court was still illuminating a rather grey and damp Wimbledon this morning but attention now turns to the player perhaps best positioned to slide into the space he has vacated atop British tennis.

Emma Raducanu is the only other British player to win a Grand Slam singles title in the last 45 years and while we may be getting ahead of ourselves if we think she may add a second next weekend, there is palpable excitement in the air.

Since her victory at Flushing Meadows in 2021, Raducanu’s career has been a rollercoaster of injuries and off-court concerns but now it feels as if the narrative might just be altering.

Promising displays on the grass in Nottingham and Eastbourne have been translated to Wimbledon with a pair of back-to-back, straight-sets wins advertising the abundant talent she clearly possesses.

This was particularly in evidence in her barnstorming 6-1, 6-2 win over Elise Mertens in the second round, where Raducanu’s prodigious hitting from the back of the court was simply too much for the Belgian to handle.

However, for all the steadily building excitement, this afternoon represents a first real test of Raducanu credentials;  chance to see whether a deep run in this years Wimbledon singles is a reality or a pipe dream

Ranked No 9 in the world, Maria Sakkari will present a proper challenge. A two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist, the Greek is yet to drop a set at Wimbledon this year having downed both Arantxa Rus and McCartney Kessler with relative ease.

An aggressive player by nature, Sakkari’s game is built around her strong serve and powerful hitting from the back of the court. In short, she has the game to expose Raducanu should the latter fail to put her best foot forward.

One factor in the Briton’s favour is the head-t0-head between the two players. Raducanu won their only meeting in 2021…where you ask? Flushing Meadows, New York en route to a US Open title.

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