LONDON (Reuters) – British hopes in the Wimbledon women’s singles were kept alive in unlikely fashion as 18-year-old wildcard Emma Raducanu shocked former French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova on Thursday to reach the third round on her debut.
Raducanu, ranked 338th in the world, completely outplayed her Czech opponent to win 6-2 6-4 as she followed up her first-round victory the previous day over Vitalia Diatchenko.
The Canadian-born youngster, whose father is Romanian and mother Chinese, fell 3-0 down in the second set but calmly regained control to outclass a befuddled Vondrousova.
“I think playing in front of a home crowd definitely helps,” Raducanu said.
“Also I was just thinking, play every point like it was my last point, like it was match point, it was my last point here at Wimbledon.”
Judging by the way Raducanu has stepped up to the big stage, two months after completing her A-levels at school, this could be the first of many.
Next up for the Londoner is Romanian Sorana Cirstea who beat 12th seed Victoria Azarenka 7-6 3-6 6-4.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)