Wimbledon: Emma Raducanu struggles but fends off lucky loser for winning return

Raducanu off to a winning start to her first Wimbledon since 2022.

by Dzevad Mesic
Wimbledon: Emma Raducanu struggles but fends off lucky loser for winning return
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Emma Raducanu struggled a bit early in the match against Renata Zarazua but ultimately managed to escape with a straight-set win over the Mexican lucky loser. 

On Monday afternoon, Raducanu learned that she would not be facing No. 22 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova in the first round after the Russian had to withdraw from the tournament due to illness. 

Instead, Raducanu faced world No. 98 Zarazua and won 7-6 (0) 6-3 to start her third Wimbledon main draw campaign with a win. However, it wasn't really the most convincing of performances for the 2021 US Open champion, who had 17 winners and 30 unforced errors. 

For the 21-year-old Briton, this was also her first match at The All England Club since 2022 - last year, she missed the tournament because she was recovering from three surgeries.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

In her next match, Raducanu plays against world No. 33 Elise Mertens, who defeated Noa Hibino in three sets 2-6 6-2 6-4.

How Raducanu beat Zarazua?

Early in the first set, there wasn't much separating the two but Raducanu opened a 4-2 lead after saving a break point in the fourth game and then also breaking Zarazua in the following game. 

Down by an early break, the Mexican lucky loser didn't panic and she broke back the Briton in the eighth game to ultimately force a tie-break. 

But that was all from Zarazua in the first set as Raducanu stepped up in the tie-break and impressively won it without a dropped point to take the opener. 

Just like in the first set, Zarazua missed some early break points and then got broken - after missing two consecutive break points in the third game, the Mexican got broken in the sixth game.

Leading 5-2, Raducanu missed out on her first match point on Zarazua's serve but routinely earned and converted her second match point on her serve in the ninth game. 

Wimbledon Emma Raducanu