Emma Raducanu: Brit tumbles out of Wimbledon at hands of qualifier Lulu Sun | Tennis News


Wild card Emma Raducanu was shocked by qualifier Lulu Sun as her encouraging Wimbledon run came to a disappointing end in the fourth round on a gloomy Sunday.

The 21-year-old had inspired hopes of more US Open-style heroics by coming through her opening three matches without dropping a set.

But she looked nervous against powerful New Zealander Sun, the first qualifier to make the women’s singles quarter-finals here in 14 years, and, despite battling to force a deciding set, slumped to a 6-2 5-7 6-2 defeat.

History for Sun at Wimbledon

Lulu Sun is the second-lowest ranked (123) player in the last 15 editions of the tournament to make the women’s singles quarter-finals at the Championships – ranked higher only than Serena Williams in 2018 (181).

Left-hander Sun, who had never won a Grand Slam main-draw match before this week and is now on a seven-match winning streak, racked up 52 winners compared with just 19 from Raducanu and will now face Donna Vekic for a place in the semi-finals.

It has not been a comfortable 24 hours for Raducanu, with the positive vibes from her three impressive wins given a hammering by her decision to deny Andy Murray a Wimbledon swansong by pulling out of their mixed doubles opener citing a stiff wrist.

She found herself the subject of unwanted headlines, with the social media contribution of Judy Murray – albeit subsequently claimed not to be a criticism of Raducanu – adding fuel to the fire.

The strapping on her right wrist that had been present in practice on Saturday was nowhere to be seen, and Raducanu looked happy and relaxed hitting with fellow British player Liam Broady ahead of the match.

But, from the start of the contest on Centre Court, the former US Open champion, who knows all too well what qualifiers can achieve, seemed anything but comfortable.

Her serve, which has been a key strength all tournament, was off and her groundstrokes lacked their usual fizz.

Sun, on the other hand, looked like playing on Centre Court was something she had been doing all her life, the 23-year-old crunching the ball and breaking the Raducanu serve – which the Briton had not dropped since the first round – twice to go 3-0 up.

Raducanu retrieved one of the breaks but her comeback was short-lived as Sun, who defeated eighth seed Zheng Qinwen in round one, powered her way to another break and then the set.

The Brit was under pressure again at the start of the second but this time managed to hold on to her serve, with Sun, ranked 123, putting a simple forehand volley long on break point at 1-1.

Raducanu then had two break points in the next game but was unable to change the momentum, missing two backhand returns off second serves.

She hung on again in the seventh game but at least produced some of her best tennis to save two more break points.

Raducanu’s efforts in keeping her nose in front on serve were rewarded at 5-6 when Sun tightened up a little, missing an overhead and then going long on the second set point.

However, the mood changed in the opening game of the third set when Raducanu slipped while hitting a forehand, sitting on the ground shaking her head before calling the trainer, who worked on her left hip, leg and back, which she had been periodically holding during the second set.

Raducanu underwent surgery on her left ankle last year, as well as both wrists, after slipping at a tournament in Auckland.

She restarted in confident fashion with an ace but looked a little uncertain in her movement and dropped serve. The crowd tried to inspire Raducanu into another fightback but a double fault cost her a second break at 2-4 and Sun clinched a deserved victory after two hours and 50 minutes.

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Jonathan Overend says it was a good call by Emma Raducanu to pull out of the mixed doubles event with Andy Murray

Paolini reaches Wimbledon quarters after tearful Keys retires injured

Madison Keys of United States reacts during the ladies' singles 4th round match against Jasmine Paolini of Italy on the day 7 of the Wimbledon tennis championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, United Kingdom on July 7, 2024. Madison Keys retired midway through the third set due to injury.( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images )
Madison Keys was forced to retire injured against French Open runner-up Jasmine Paolini

French Open runner-up Jasmine Paolini reached the quarter-finals for the first time after a totally distraught Madison Keys was forced to call it quits at 5-5 in the third set with a suspected groin injury.

Playing under a closed Court One roof on yet another soggy day at the All England Club, Keys appeared to have one foot in the last eight when she went to serve for the match at 5-2 up the deciding set but clutched her left groin immediately after getting broken.

The American 12th seed called for the trainer one game later and limped off court for a medical time out before re-emerging with her left thigh heavily strapped.

Upon resumption, she started sobbing after netting a drop shot to fall 15-40 behind. Although the 29-year-old saved the first break point with a backhand winner, she was again in tears after surrendering her serve with a double fault.

Clearly struggling to even walk between points, Keys somehow conjured a lob to win the first point off Paolini’s next service game. But when she saw the next point whizz past her for an ace, she shook her head and signalled it was all over as she walked to the net to give her Italian opponent a tearful hug.

The Italian seventh seed had produced a stirring comeback from 5-1 down in the second set to force a tiebreak and the final score ended up being 6-3 6-7 (8-6) 5-5 in Paolini’s favour when a heartbroken Keys had to call it a day.

“I’m so sorry for her. To end the match like this it’s sad. We played a really good match. it was really tough, lots of up and downs. I feel a bit happy but also sad for her because it’s not easy to win like that,” Paolini, who had not won a Tour-level main draw match on grass before this year, told the crowd in a courtside interview.

“It was a rollercoaster. I started really well and was really focused on court but she’s a great champion and she raised her level so it was tough to return balls. I was repeating to myself stay in there. At the end I know she retired, but I’m here with the win.

“I hope you enjoyed the match,” added the 28-year-old after becoming the fifth Italian woman to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals in the professional era, equalling the country’s best result at the grasscourt major.

Paolini will next face either US Open champion Coco Gauff or American 19th seed Emma Navarro.

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