Emma Raducanu has sensationally booked her spot in the fourth round at Wimbledon with an impressive straight-sets victory over world No 45 Sorana Cirstea, as the British teenager’s fairytale journey continues.
The 18-year-old, who is awaiting the results of her A-Level maths and economics exams, beat the Romanian on Court One, winning the contest in straight sets 6-4 7-5.
However, the wildcard entry was made to work in the second set, just losing out on an epic 15-minute battle which saw Cirstea fight hard to stay in the match on her own service game.
But after that long, drawn-out set at 4-3, Raducanu composed herself and dispatched her opponent in impressive style, given the lack of experience she has at this level.
Raducanu had won just £29,000 in career prize money before this week and is now guaranteed a cheque of at least £181,000 after getting into the fourth round.
She becomes the youngest British woman into the fourth round of SW19 in the open era and surely a Centre Court date with Ajla Tomljanovic on Monday awaits.
Emma Raducanu’s fairytale Wimbledon journey continues after she beat Sorana Cirstea
The 18-year-old wildcard entry beat the Romanian on Court One, winning it in straight sets
Raducanu collapses to the ground after her victory over Cirstea was confirmed
The world No 338 finished school just two months ago and this is her first time at Wimbledon or any other Grand Slam.
‘Honestly, I am so speechless right now, at the end I didn’t know what my reaction would be if I won and that just happened,’ Raducanu said after her win. ‘I am so so grateful for all the support I had today.
When asked about playing in the second week, she said: ‘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?”.
‘I think I am going to have to do some laundry tonight, but I think they have a laundry service at the hotel, so I am all good.’
Cirstea fought back in the second set but was overpowered by the British teenager
Raducanu’s performance caught the eye of the nation, while former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher tweeted: ‘Emma Raducanu BIBLICAL.’
Raducanu passed the test of 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova on Thursday night to set up Saturday’s tie on Court One, and looks set for the hallowed turf on Centre Court, given her meteoric rise.
When asked earlier this week whether she would prefer top grades or top billing in the women’s fourth round, Raducanu replied: ‘I would have to say round four at Wimbledon. Everyone that knows me would be like “what?” because they think I am fanatic about my school results and they think I have got such an inflated ego about it.
‘My parents think I am crazy and I won’t accept anything less than A-stars. I feel like I have to live up to that expectation so that’s why I work so hard to try and get those grades.
‘I’m not sure what I am going to come back with but I have high standards of myself. That has helped me get to where I am in terms of tennis and also in terms of school results – but I would still pick round four.’
The Romanian (left) crossed to Raducanu’s side of the court to congratulate her on her win
The teenager, who has just £29,000 in career earnings before this week, is guaranteed at least £181,000 after reaching the fourth round
‘It is quite incredible,’ admitted the wildcard, who is the world No 338. ‘I am still at the beginning of my career, so I will definitely use it to tap in to great coaches.
‘Tennis is an expensive sport so to travel and compete week in week out, it will definitely go towards funding that. I am definitely very grateful for the opportunity that I received this week and I am just trying to make the most of it.
‘Playing in front of a home crowd definitely helps. Their support is so loud and they are so behind me.
‘I go out there and feel like I have got nothing to lose. I want to do the crowd proud. I am really just here enjoying myself and trying to stay here for as long as I can. I feel like I am on a holiday – it is unbelievable.’