In-form Emma Raducanu pumps brakes on Wimbledon hype, highlights very important thing

Raducanu easily made the Wimbledon round-of-16 and the locals are hoping this is her big year.

by Dzevad Mesic
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In-form Emma Raducanu pumps brakes on Wimbledon hype, highlights very important thing
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Emma Raducanu may be playing some of her best tennis ever in front of her home fans at Wimbledon but highlights that she is not looking too far ahead because she wants to go "point by point" and remain in the present moment. 

On Friday, Raducanu - currently ranked at No. 135 in the world - delivered an outstanding performance to dismantle world No. 9 Maria 6-2 6-3 and reach the Wimbledon round-of-16 but also secure a top-100 return. For the 21-year-old Briton, that was just yet another great performance during this year's grass season and she also remains without a dropped set at The Championships this year. 

But one thing that really indicates that this could be Raducanu's breakthrough year at Wimbledon is the fact that her first wins over top-10 players came during the grass season - she defeated world No. 5 Jessica Pegula in Eastbourne two weeks ago before beating Sakkari.
 
And after ousting Sakkari, Raducanu acknowledged that she was aware of the hype surrounding her and admitted that she is personally very motivated and determined to go as deep as possible at Wimbledon. But then, the 2021 US Open champion underlined that she doesn't want to get high in the sky because the job is still far from done. 

"I don't think I ever will until I'm in the situation. I just have to keep going point by point. Today was a really good example of me just taking it moment by moment and fighting," Raducanu said.

"I think also for me to be winning that match against a top-10 opponent on Centre Court, it's a beautiful feeling and one that I really want to savor."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney
 

Raducanu: Tennis is brutal in a way...

When Raducanu returns to the court on Sunday, she will have a very favorable matchup since she is playing against qualifier Lulu Sun, who is also one of the better stories at this year's Wimbledon. While Sun may be a good matchup on paper, it should be noted that the 123rd-ranked New Zealander upset this year's Australian Open finalist Zheng Qinwen before also beating Yulia Starodubtseva and Zhu Lin. 

And shortly after earning one of the biggest wins of her career, Raducanu noted that there wasn't much time to celebrate because she already had to start thinking about her next opponent - which is Sun.

"But tennis is pretty brutal in the way you have to enjoy it tonight and then tomorrow you're already thinking about the next one. It's just like that. You can win the tournament but you can lose first round the next week. It's the sport. I'm just trying to cherish every moment I have here," Raducanu added. 

"I'm very grateful just being healthy. I think I missed the feeling of being on the grounds very much. It was really painful last year coming here and not being able to compete, being on the other side of it. I think that feeling has been pulling me through a lot this week. Just remembering how I felt then, bringing it back to the present.

"I've just been having so much fun that I really just want to stay. I don't want to go home. It's a good, different type of motivation."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney
 

Raducanu believes that 'pressure is a privilege'

After winning the 2021 US Open, Raducanu evidently struggled with massive expectations and pressure and once even admitted that she sometimes regretted her historic win.

But now, she has matured in some ways - knows better how to cope with certain stuff - and is doing her best to do something big in front of her home fans at The All England Club. 

"I love playing on the big courts. For me, I thrive on such occasions, on big stages. It's something I play tennis for. I just love the feeling of it, competing, especially here in front of a home crowd. It is really amazing. I think on the pressure side, you can flip it. I have a packed Centre Court who are all rooting for me to win. It really felt like that today. It really felt like that in my last two matches," Raducanu explained.

"For me, I just feel happy that that many people are behind me. That's just in a microcosm of what's going on in the wider world. Not everyone who supported me is in that stadium, as well. I think pressure's a privilege. I thrive for those situations."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney
 

If Raducanu beats Sun, she will make her first Wimbledon quarterfinal and also her first Slam quarterfinal since the 2021 US Open. 

Emma Raducanu Wimbledon
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