Emma Raducanu triumphs on Centre Court debut
Britain’s teenage U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu lived up to her star billing on her first appearance on Wimbledon’s Centre Court by beating in-form Belgian Alison van Uytvanck 6-4 6-4 in the first round on Monday.
A year ago Raducanu reached the fourth round as an unknown wildcard before going on to win the U.S. Open against impossible odds, but this time the 10th seed carried the hopes of a nation who have not seen a home women’s champion since Virginia Wade in 1977.
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Despite an injury-ravaged build-up that left her participation in doubt until a few days ago, Raducanu took the first set against the dangerous Belgian who had warmed up with two second-tier tournament victories on grass.
A maiden Centre Court victory for @EmmaRaducanu 🇬🇧#Wimbledon | #CentreCourt100
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 27, 2022
In a match low on consistent quality but with moments of drama, it was Raducanu who tightened the screw, finding her confidence and range to break for a 5-4 lead before serving out strongly to give the home fans the victory they so desperately craved.