Lulu Sun beats Emma Raducanu at Wimbledon

Lulu Sun has made history by moving into the quarterfinals of Wimbledon thanks to a stunning 6-2 5-7 6-2 fourth-round win over Emma Raducanu on Centre Court on Sunday.

This was a memorable match for so many reasons. Sun became the first New Zealander to play a singles match on Centre Court at Wimbledon since Chris Lewis in the men’s final in 1983.

She has also become the first Kiwi woman ever to make it to the singles quarterfinal at Wimbledon as her fairytale run since switching allegiances to New Zealand shows no signs of slowing down.

Following Carlos Alcaraz’s win in four sets over Ugo Humbert, Sun and Raducanu came onto court at 4.50pm. There was a mild cheer when Sun walked on, but a more ecstatic one for Raducanu.

However, Sun didn’t allow the 15,000 spectators to get into the match early as she had one of her best starts during her seven-match winning run at Wimbledon.

Raducanu put the ball into the net on the first two points, then double-faulted and even though the Brit got the score to 30-40, Sun put away a volley at the net for a confidence-boosting break.

Following a hold, she broke Raducanu again to love and silenced the crowd.

But Sun double-faulted on break point, which got Raducanu on the board for the first time.

However, Sun stayed strong to hold her lead in the opening set.

Sun saved a couple of break points at 1-2 in the second set and the first five games of the set took a long time to complete, with both players knowing how crucial a break of serve would be.

The tension built over the set and the crucial moment came when Sun was broken at 5-6.

Both players left the court before the deciding set to change outfits and in the first game once play resumed Raducanu slipped when going for a ball out wide to her right, twisting her left ankle and straining her back.

Despite a lengthy medical time out, Raducanu showed no signs of being hurt when play resumed, although despite hitting an ace on the next point, her serve was broken.

There were more tense moments to come, but Sun was able to get another break and even though Raducanu kept fighting, it’s the Kiwi who’ll move onto Tuesday’s quarterfinal.

Sun broke down in tears after the match and about an hour later in her press conference, the significance of her win was still sinking in.

“Yeah, it was an incredible match,” Sun said.

“A very long match. I think Emma, she kept at it. I’m super happy with the performance. I think at the end we were both kind of, energy-wise, struggling with the long match.

“I think the level was great from both of us. Just super pleased. I’m, like, kind of tired, so can’t really put into words.”

Although the 15,000 spectators on Centre Court were hoping for a win for Emma Raducanu and didn’t hold back in their support for the 2021 US Open winner, Sun didn’t look overawed by the occasion.

“Before the match, I kind of expected it,” she said.

“She (Raducanu) is obviously from here. She’s one of the favourites.

“Honestly, the British crowd is not that bad. If you’ve seen, like, French crowds at the French Open or at the US Open. I was expecting the support for her, but they were honestly OK for me.”

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