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WIMBLEDON

Raducanu “didn’t have expectations” after second-round exit

Emma Raducanu exited at the second round for the third consecutive grand slam following defeat to Caroline Garcia at Wimbledon.

Update:
Britain's Emma Raducanu speaks to the media in the Main Interview Room following her defeat against France's Caroline Garcia in their women's singles tennis match on the third day of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 29, 2022. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo by Joe TOTH / various sources / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo by JOE TOTH/AFP via Getty Images)
JOE TOTHGetty

Emma Raducanu admitted that she didn’t have any expectations for her Wimbledon campaign which came to an end on Wednesday following her second-round 6-3 6-3 defeat to Caroline García. A dominant showing from García saw her hammer 24 winners, win 71 per cent of points played behind her first serve and win 15 of 18 points when she came to the net – with Raducanu unable to muster a response despite being encouraged by an enthusiastic Centre Court crowd.

Doubts were present ahead of the tournament as to whether the 19-year-old would feature given injury issues, which limited her to only seven games before retiring in her only match at the British grass-court events leading up to the event at SW19. The world number 11 had the hopes of a nation on her shoulders heading into the campaign but, speaking after her straight-sets defeat to García, she downplayed the result. “Obviously it’s tough to lose any match. But it’s okay because coming into this I didn’t really have any expectations of myself,” she told a news conference after the game.

Emma Raducanu. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Emma Raducanu. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)Anadolu AgencyGetty

No pressure on Raducanu

Defeat for Raducanu means she has not won successive matches at a grand slam since her victory at the US Open last year, having also fallen at the second-round stage in both the Australian and French Open. However, she brushed off any suggestion that she’s weighed down by pressure, stating: “I am 19 years old. Yes, I have had attention. But I’m a slam champion, so no one’s going to take that away from me. If anything, the pressure is on those who haven’t done that.”

Raducanu had a slow start to the game, with García securing two breaks in the opening set and causing the British number one trouble with her aggressive approach, taking a 6-3 win. A brilliant rally in game five of the second set again was finished off by García to help her on her way to another break and, despite a swift response from Raducanu for only her second break of the game, took another to take command of the match. The world no. 55 then broke Raducanu for the third time in a row to secure her seventh consecutive grass victory – which was her first at Wimbledon since 2014 – leading to a memorable first visit to Centre Court.

Special moment for García

“I really enjoyed playing on Centre Court, it was my first time and very special,” she said after the match. “You win a couple of matches in a row and I won a title in Germany but you have to start all over again. That is what is nice about tennis - we all start from zero and we have to go for it.”

García will play Shuai Zhang in the third round. Zhang defeated Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk in straight sets earlier on Wednesday.

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