Emma Raducanu draws seed in tough Wimbledon 1R matchup; Here's how she feels

Raducanu didn't really have much with her Wimbledon draw.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Emma Raducanu draws seed in tough Wimbledon 1R matchup; Here's how she feels
© Getty Images Sport - Kate Green

Emma Raducanu didn't avoid facing a seeded player right from the start as the British tennis star is set for a very tricky Wimbledon opener against No. 22 seed and proven grass-courter Ekaterina Alexandrova. 

Raducanu, who is currently ranked at No. 168 in the world and was handed a main draw wildcard for Wimbledon, knew there was a chance of getting a tough first-round match at The Championships. And on Friday, exactly that happened after Raducanu drew four-time WTA champion Alexandrova, who also achieved a career-high ranking of No. 15 in April. 

For Raducanu, 21, and 29-year-old Alexandrova, their Wimbledon meeting will also be the first time that they are taking on each other. Going into the match, both Raducanu and Alexandrova aren't lacking matches since the Briton appeared in two tournaments this grass season while the Russian took part in three. 

Also, they are in good form, considering that Raducanu was a semifinalist in Nottingham and also a quarterfinalist in Eastbourne this week, while Alexandrova made the 's-Hertogenbosch semifinal before losing in the Berlin and Bad Homburg round-of-16. 

While Raducanu has played well on the grass this summer and it is definitely looking like her best surface, two of Alexandrova's four titles came on the grass courts of 's-Hertogenbosch. All in all, Raducanu has proved that she can be a threat on the grass and will likely have a shot at winning if she plays her game but Alexandrova certainly won't be an easy opponent.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Charlie Crowhurst
 

What Raducanu said about her Wimbledon chances?

On Thursday, Raducanu's campaign at a WTA 500 tournament in Eastbourne finished following a 2-6 2-6 loss to world No. 14 Daria Kasatkina. Although it was the worst performance that the 21-year-old Briton delivered during this year's grass season, she still made some noise in Eastbourne because she previously beat 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens and world No. 5 Jessica Pegula. 

And after posting a semifinal result in Nottingham and also doing solid in Eastbourne, Raducanu said she would enter Wimbledon "very confident."

"I feel good. I think I should be very confident. I feel like I have every right to be in the position that I am now, because I have been training, I have been working for it. I think that, you know, losing today means I get a day off tomorrow and then get to train at Wimbledon," Raducanu said. 

"So you have to just spin everything to be a positive. For me, that's how I'm going to spin it right now. But I'm looking forward to it. Like, I'm very happy to be back in London. It's, yeah, where I call home. It's where I missed last year so much. Spoke a little bit about the feeling of going to Wimbledon last year, the commitments, wanting to do everything to be on the other side of the playing. Yeah, I think that's going to be a very important feeling for me to remember next week."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Charlie Crowhurst
 

What Raducanu said about her level in Eastbourne and what made her really happy?

When the Eastbourne draw was released and it was revealed that Raducanu would meet a Slam champion in the first round and then potentially No. 2 seed Pegula in her next match, the general belief was that it would serve as a good test for the Briton before Wimbledon. 

And after Raducanu ousted Stephens 6-4 6-0 and also saved a match point before edging out Pegula 4-6 7-6 (6) 7-5 in nearly three hours of play, the 2021 US Open champion answered some questions. 

In the end, Raducanu left Eastbourne happy with her game but also even more happy about the fact that she was fully healthy.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Charlie Crowhurst
 

"Yeah, I think I put some good level out again. Just to be able to back up a week like Nottingham, obviously I'm very happy with. I think the biggest win for me is I was able to play three matches back to back. Today physically I actually felt fine. It wasn't to do with anything being in pain and three high-level matches," Raducanu reflected.

"Also yesterday the match was close to three hours. Plus the warmup before, I played almost four hours on court, and this morning I pulled up completely fine. I mean, 1 was surprised about it. That has to be a huge win. That's a big positive.

"I spoke a little bit yesterday just overcoming some things, and I did that. Yeah, have just been really enjoying my tennis, which is what I said at the start of the week, and the fact that, you know, today hasn't really dented my confidence at all or my approach or mentality is a massive win for me."

Emma Raducanu Wimbledon
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