Britain’s Emma Raducanu celebrates winning the women’s singles third round match against Romania’s Sorana Cirstea on day six of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Saturday July 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
Wimbledon, England (AP) — Coco Gauff isn’t the only teenager making a splash at Wimbledon this time. Emma Raducanu is suddenly stealing some of the spotlight. The 18-year-old Raducanu and the 17-year-old Gauff both advanced to the fourth round of the grass-court Grand Slam within minutes of each other Saturday.
For Gauff, it’s the second time she’s reached the second week at Wimbledon after her breakthrough performance in 2019, and she has already become a Centre Court regular. For Raducanu, who is playing in her first Grand Slam tournament, it’s an unexpected run that has given the British crowd an instant new favorite.
Raducanu became the youngest British woman in the Open era to reach the fourth round at the All England Club by beating veteran Sorana Cirstea 6-3, 7-5.
”Who’d have thought?” Raducanu asked. “When I was packing to come into the bubble, my parents were like, ’Aren’t you packing too many match kits?’ I think I’m going to have to do some laundry tonight.”
Raducanu was given a wild-card entry into the tournament but looked right at home playing on No. 1 Court, winning eight straight games to take a 3-0 lead in the second set. But she struggled to put away Cirstea, failing to convert three straight break points in the next game. She was then broken and missed another five break points at 4-3 in a marathon game that lasted nearly 15 minutes. And she needed three match points in the final game before Cirstea netted a forehand.
Gauff had an easier time completing a 6-3, 6-3 win over Kaja Juvan on Centre Court. Gauff finished with 21 winners and broke her opponent five times. She will next play former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber, who beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich 2-6, 6-0, 6-1.
Raducanu will face Ajla Tomljanovic, who was involved in a heated exchange with Jelena Ostapenko after their third-round match. Tomljanovic accused Ostapenko of faking an injury to get a medical timeout while trailing 4-0 in the third set. They traded insults at the net after the match. “You’re behavior is terrible,” Ostapenko said. “You have zero respect.”
“You’re the one to talk,” Tomljanovic responded. Tomljanovic won 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
“It’s getting worse and worse,” Kyrgios said. “I’m trying but I can’t even … I can’t serve anymore. I can’t do it.”
Kyrgios won the first set 6-2 but lost the second 6-1 on No. 1 Court. The Australian is also playing mixed doubles with Venus Williams.
The men’s singles started on a more light-hearted note when Kyrgios stepped onto the court only to realize he left his grass-court shoes in the locker room. His mishap forced the two players to stand around for a couple of minutes before they could start their warmup.
“The one day I thought I was being a professional,” Kyrgios joked.
A Wimbledon employee reunited him with the right shoes.
Source: Associated Press