Raducanu back on track: Outsmarts Sakkari for second top-10 victory, reaches Wimbledon fourth round

Friday, 05 July 2024 at 20:23
Emma Raducanu (No. 135) convincingly defeated 9th seed Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3 to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon for the second time in her career. The Brit returns to the second week of a Grand Slam and secured her return to the top 100, climbing over 50 positions to No. 92.
Things are starting to turn around for Raducanu, who has improved her results in recent months and shown a level of elite play that seemed lost since her title at Flushing Meadows. This is her second win over a top-10 player in her career (the previous one was against Jessica Pegula a week ago).

Raducanu shines at Wimbledon

Sakkari had bitter memories of her last encounter with Raducanu, in the semifinals of the 2021 US Open. The Greek was the heavy favorite as the 17th seed against a qualifier and was aiming for her first Grand Slam final, where unseeded Leylah Fernandez awaited. However, Raducanu dominated her 6-1, 6-4, and two days later, won the title in an epic run that catapulted her to the forefront of the sports world.
This time, the circumstances were different for both players. Sakkari, now with more experience, has been established in the top 20 for over three years, most of that time as a top-10 player. Meanwhile, Raducanu is fighting to regain her position in the tennis elite after inconsistent results in recent years and a long injury layoff.
The 21-year-old Brit started strongly with an early break and then saved a couple of break points to go up 2-0. Raducanu had an impressive 77% first-serve percentage throughout the set, compared to Sakkari's 54%, which allowed the Brit to hold her service games more easily than her opponent.
Emma Raducanu at 2024 Wimbledon.
Both players faced pressure moments with break points against them throughout the set, but the effectiveness was on the side of the young star, who took the second break in the 7th game. Raducanu saved another couple of break points before closing the set with her serve at 6-2, partly due to her opponent's 17 unforced errors.
At the start of the second set, the difference in crucial points was again evident. Raducanu took advantage of her only break opportunity in the third game to go ahead, and then Sakkari squandered the two chances she had in the next game. Sakkari continued to struggle with unforced errors, while Raducanu showed tenacity at the baseline to force her opponent to take more risks.
Her next opponent will be the surprising Australian Lulu Sun, a qualifier. The world No. 123 is making her Wimbledon debut, in only her second Grand Slam main draw, and debuted by defeating 8th seed Zheng Qinwen. She has now reached the fourth round after beating Lin Zhu (No. 61) and has secured her entry into the top 100 for the first time in her career.

Just In

Popular News