Emma Raducanu in the first round of Wimbledon 2022, London, UK
Emma Raducanu in the first round of Wimbledon 2022, London, UK | (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Tennis | Wimbledon 2024 | Emma Raducanu draws positives from Wimbledon run after shock exit, defends mixed doubles withdrawal

By Tony Fairbairn at Wimbledon

  • Lulu Sun [Q] def Emma Raducanu [WC] 6-2 5-7 6-2
  • Emma Raducanu is taking the positives from her fourth round performance at Wimbledon and defended her mixed doubles withdrawal
LONDON, ENGLAND – Emma Raducanu is taking the positives from her run to the fourth round at Wimbledon despite her shock defeat to Lulu Sun and defended her decision to withdraw from the mixed doubles alongside Andy Murray.


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It was Wimbledon heartbreak for Emma Raducanu once more as she was beaten by qualifier Lulu Sun in three sets.

The qualifier from New Zealand was fearless and aggressive from the start as she created a double break advantage by being proactive and making approaches to the net.

A state of shock entered Centre Court as Raducanu never really got going in the opening set as the Brit lost the set 6-2.

In the second set, it was clear Raducanu was clearly struggling physically as well as failing to match Sun’s intensity.

However, Raducanu dug down deep and used her experience to remain patient and found a way to force errors from the qualifier.

Sun felt nervous and that allowed the former US Open champion to go on the attack as she broke to claim the second set 7-5, forcing a decider.

Jubilation turned into anxiety as Raducanu slipped in the third point of the deciding set as she seemed to hyperextend her knee.

However, it was actually her back that she needed treatment with as she struggled to power past Sun’s defence.

There seemed to be no way for Raducanu to dominate the play as Sun brought her best tennis in the final set, punching her ticket to the quarter-finals.

After the match Raducanu was full of praise for Sun but also detailed her physical struggles as she was clearly having problems with her back.

“Yeah, she was very aggressive. She took the ball on. I think playing a lefty is challenging. It’s something that I haven’t really played against or trained against. I think that going forward, it’s something I probably need to incorporate more. But yeah, credit to her. She played really well. Obviously is swinging really freely,” Raducanu stated in her press conference.

“I mean, I’ve been managing a stiff back since yesterday. I think it was just exaggerated today, I’d say. I was feeling it during the match. I think especially on serve it was affecting me a bit. But I think, I mean, I gave everything I had on the day. I just need to take the lessons that I can from it, watch it back, yeah, improve and keep going.”

Despite the defeat, it’s been a positive last few weeks for Raducanu after the Brit reached the quarter-finals in Eastbourne as well as beating Maria Sakkari at Wimbledon.

Before the grass court season, Raducanu hasn’t beaten a single top ten player and now has two top ten wins in the space of a couple of weeks.

After the match Raducanu spoke about the grass court season and her excitement about returning to America.

“I mean, I beat two top-10 players within two weeks, which is a pretty big deal for me, seeing as the whole US Open even I didn’t play one top-10 player,” Raducanu recalled her run to the US Open title in 2021.

“I think I have to take confidence from that. Six months ago when I was starting out after surgery, I would have signed for fourth round at Wimbledon. Of course I’m disappointed. Of course I want more. I think everything does happen for a reason. It just, yeah, fuels the fire and makes me more hungry. 

“Yeah, I’m going to go to the States, start in D.C., and get on the hard courts. I think I’ll take a few days off just to freshen up with the body, freshen up. Obviously it’s an intense period on the grass. I feel good about things going forwards.

“I feel optimistic. I think that today, as bitter as it is to take, I think it happened for a reason. You don’t want things to happen too easily and too quickly. I think I’m just working there, tracking in the right direction. Yeah, I’ll just start off in D.C. and go from there.”

The tournament in Washington will start on the 29th of July.



Raducanu defends mixed doubles withdrawal

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However, there were tense moments during Raducanu’s press conference and it didn’t have anything to do with the match.

That’s because a day before her fourth round match, Raducanu withdrew from her mixed doubles match alongside Andy Murray.

It means that Murray’s Wimbledon career is over and has sparked lots of debate with Judy Murray labelling the move as ‘astonishing.’

In a tense exchange with journalists Raducanu explained her decision and admitted Murray was ‘disappointed’ to hear the news.

“I don’t think it was a mistake because I was feeling fine, then yesterday morning just woke up with stiffness. I have to prioritize myself, my singles and my body. I think it was the right decision. I stand by the decision. Yeah, obviously it was a tough decision, though, because it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Raducanu explained.

“It was a very difficult decision. Of course, I didn’t want to take his last match away from him. But at the end of the day I think a lot of the players in a similar situation would have done the same thing, prioritizing their body. Yeah, I still stand by making the right call. 

“I mean, obviously disappointed because it’s his last match. But, yeah, what a champion. I think that hopefully he’ll play in the Olympics and have another farewell there.”

There’s no doubting that the decision from Raducanu is understandable given she wanted to reach her first Wimbledon quarter-final.

The decision though has caused a stir given how Murray wanted to bow out of Wimbledon by playing the mixed doubles.

Raducanu further justified her decision by detailing the conversation she had with Murray and understands that there will be people on social media who will be critical of the decision.

“I think with every decision, people are entitled to their opinions,” the former US Open champion said.

“Of course, there was a bit of a cloud around the decision. I don’t think I would have done it any other way. I think in this sport especially, as an individual, you have to make your own calls and prioritize yourself. Especially with my history, I just had to put myself first.

“No, I mean, I think going into the tournament, I wasn’t expecting to make fourth round. So for me it was a no-brainer. I would have loved to have played. He didn’t ask me, If you’re still in the singles, are you going to play? That was never a question to be answered. Given how I woke up yesterday morning, it was for me a no-brainer.”



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