Wimbledon 2024: Emma Raducanu breezes into fourth round

Emma Raducanu takes down the ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari in straight sets to advance to the Wimbledon round of 16. (0:36)

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Emma Raducanu marched into the fourth round at Wimbledon on Friday after dominating world No. 9 Maria Sakkari in a straight-sets victory on Centre Court.

The 21-year-old, who missed last year’s tournament after undergoing surgery on both wrists and an ankle, has been in impressive form at the championships and looks to be playing her best tennis since she won the US Open in 2021.

Thursday’s 6-2, 6-3 victory followed her third-round win over Elise Mertens where she produced a near-faultless display to breeze past the world No. 33.

Raducanu picked up where she had left off against Sakkari as she broke serve in the first game of the match. She missed the chance to secure a double break despite having a 40-0 lead in the fourth game, but quickly regrouped to overwhelm her Greek opponent with a mixture of powerful ball-striking and audacious lobs.

As soon as Raducanu had got ahead in the match it seemed a long way back for Sakkari. The Brit very rarely lets a lead slip — she has won 94 of the 102 matches in which she has won the opening set.

Buoyed by the support of the home crowd under the roof on Centre Court, Raducanu comfortably navigated the second set with her service game looking particularly impressive.

Raducanu’s win over Sakkari is just her second over a top-10 ranked opponent in her career. Her first was against Jessica Pegula at Queen’s on June 26 as part of her preparation for the championships. The contest with Sakkari was also her first match, and win, against a seeded opponent at Wimbledon.

Emma Raducanu was in imperious form during her straight-sets win over Maria Sakkari at Wimbledon on Friday. Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images

“I think today was really up there with the most fun I’ve had on the tennis court,” Raducanu told the BBC. “I mean, I really enjoyed every single moment, and I think I was just telling myself: ‘How many times in your life are you going to get the opportunity to play in front of a full Centre Court?’ So I’m really grateful for the support.”

Meanwhile, Sonay Kartal’s unexpected run at the championships ended in a third-round straight-sets defeat to world No. 2 Coco Gauff.

Kartal, Britain’s No. 9-ranked women’s player, claimed her maiden Wimbledon victory on Monday when she beat Sorana Cîrstea in the first round before going on to win against Clara Burel. Cîrstea is 266 places above Kartal in the rankings, while Burel is 253 places higher than the Brit.

However, while she was unable to pull off a third upset in succession, Kartal was able to give Gauff a brief scare, despite taking until the third game to win her first point.

Kartal recovered to break Gauff in the eighth game, levelling the set at 4-4, but regularly struggled to move off the baseline as she sat deep on the court to give herself as much time as possible to deal with the hard-hitting American. Gauff broke straight back before serving out the first set.

The Brit’s game seemed to desert her from that point on as she made repeated unforced errors on her way to losing the last eight games in a row. Gauff will face compatriot Emma Navarro in the fourth round.

Sonay Kartal’s Wimbledon campaign came to an end in the third round after she was beaten by Coco Gauff. Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images

Raducanu is set to play alongside Andy Murray in the mixed doubles after the All England Club announced on Wednesday that it had awarded the pair a wild-card entry, pairing two of the biggest names in British tennis.

Asked which of her or Murray will be the dominant player in the partnership, Raducanu said: “I mean, I’ll just take direction and follow his lead!”

“I think I have to do a crash course in doubles tonight, but I’ll have fun tomorrow regardless, and of course I’ll cherish the opportunity because yeah, it’s just such an honour.”

Away from Centre Court and No. 1 Court, much of Thursday’s schedule was affected by rain in south west London. There were due to be 10 doubles and mixed doubles matches involving British players at the All England Club, but only four were able to be completed.

In the men’s doubles, Julian Cash and his American partner Robert Galloway advanced to the second round with a straight-sets win. They were joined by Lloyd Glasspool and his Dutch doubles partner Jean-Julien Rojer, while Henry Patten and Fin Harri Heliovaara won their second-round match.

Olivia Nicholls became the first Brit to move into the second round of the women’s doubles after her and Tereza Mihalíková won in straight sets on Court 7.

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