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Cirstea British teenager Raducanu into last 16

Cirstea British teenager Raducanu into last 16
Sorana Cirstea


Emma Raducanu's Wimbledon fairy tale continues with impressive … Sat, 03 Jul 2021 14:00:00 +0100-Emma Raducanu's dream debut run at Wimbledon continues into the fourth round with victory over Romania's world number 45 Sorana Cirstea.

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British teenager Raducanu into last 16

Emma Raducanu impressed with a strong backhand
Venue: All England Club Dates: 28 June-11 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details here

Emma Raducanu's dream debut run at Wimbledon continued into the fourth round with victory over Romania's world number 45 Sorana Cirstea.

The 18-year-old British wildcard, ranked 338th and fresh from completing her A-Levels, impressed in a 6-3 7-5 win.

Playing on a show court for the first time, she stunned 31-year-old Cirstea by taking eight games in a row.

“I am so speechless right now,” Raducanu said.

“I didn't know what my reaction would be, and then that just happened. I'm so, so grateful for all the support I had today.

“This is by far the biggest court I've played on. I think I coped quite well in the beginning, I just tried to hold my nerve.

“When I was packing to come into the bubble, my parents said, 'Aren't you packing too much match kit?' I think I'm going to have to do some laundry tonight.”

Raducanu becomes the youngest British woman to reach the Wimbledon last 16 in the Open era, and will face Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic next.

A day to remember

If we did not know it before, we do now. There is a new star of British tennis – and her name is Emma Raducanu.

No-one was more shocked than Raducanu herself when she defeated Marketa Vondrousova on Thursday to reach the third round, saying she “felt like she was on holiday”.

Coached by Nigel Sears, Andy Murray's father-in-law, she was only handed a wildcard into the main draw late on after making her WTA Tour debut at Nottingham earlier in June.

But just hours after Wimbledon heard British legend Andy Murray questioning his future after a third-round exit, it witnessed a new talent breaking through.

And as Raducanu walked on to Court One, she could not help but display a wry smile, looking around at the crowd as she laid out her towel and bag.

But she was not at all fazed by the thousands watching, holding break point in the very first game though missing out on the chance to take first blood.

Cirstea – who played her first Wimbledon when her opponent was just five – broke Raducanu in the fourth game. The young Briton broke back immediately in what was the start of a run that will be long remembered.

She went on to win eight successive games, sealing the first set in the process, and looked to be careering towards a dominant two-set win.

But when Cirstea – who defeated two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka in the previous round – broke back in the fifth game, it looked as though the nerves were starting to creep in.

She held five break points in a near 15-minute game at 3-4 ahead, but it was a moment in the 12th game that perhaps sealed the match for her.

A remarkable backhand winner, that caused her to drop her own racquet in disbelief, was the moment Cirstea's head dropped, and Raducanu – who hit 30 winners in all – went on to earn her place in the fourth round on her third match point.

In reaching the last 16, she bumps her prize money up to £181,000 – considerably more than her total career earnings before Wimbledon of $39,558 (£28,762).

Emma Raducanu fell to the ground in shock after clinching victory

'She was fearless from the beginning'

Two-time Grand Slam champion Tracy Austin on BBC TV

She came out and she was fearless from the beginning. She hadn't won a WTA match until this Wimbledon. To me, she seems like an incredible competitor. She's able to rebound immediately.

She's a smart court player, she has the defence, the offence, the even-keeled temperament. Cirstea has had a fabulous spring, and she beat Azarenka and was on a high herself.

Raducanu seems to play with that right level of engagement, clarity of how she wants to play – that's a very mature match there. Even that last game – it was on her third match point and she stayed calm.

Everybody is going to know who she is overnight. She wasn't gifted this match – she took this match. She is still going to be ranked outside the world 200. It's not going to be easy.

We've talked about how wide open the tournament is. Tomljanovic hasn't been this deep in a Slam. If you can beat Cirstea… you can beat Tomljanovic.


... read more

British teenager Raducanu into last 16 Sat, 03 Jul 2021 14:00:00 +0100-Eighteen-year-old Emma Raducanu created one of the great Wimbledon moments today on Court No1 when she defeated Sorana Cirstea by a 6-3, 7-5 …

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Emma Raducanu’s Wimbledon fairy tale continues with impressive straight sets win over Sorana Cirstea

July 03, 2021

3:04PM

Those are the words of Tracy Austin on the performance of Emma Raducanu. 

2:58PM

On how she is feeling…

On what it means for her…

On trying to sum up the victory…

On playing in the second week…

2:50PM

At 0-15 Reducanu perhaps plays her best backhand winner of the match (it's a crowded field…) – on the run, crosscourt that Cirstea cannot get close to. At 15-30 down she then gees up the crowd (surely she's done this before?!) such awareness. She then earns a matchpoint with yet another backhand winner – Cirstea saves that one thanks to a long Raducanu forehand. Another Raducanu forehand, however, earns her a second matchpoint. Once again Cirstea digs deep and saves. At advantage down the Briton unleashes another backhand winner (no shock there) and it's back to deuce. Raducanu then earns her third match point AND SHE DOES IT after a brilliant rally in which she seemed out of until she pushes Cirstea to the back of the court and forces the error! 

WOW

Say hello to Briton's latest star – he is the real deal and will go far…

Take a bow, Emma Raducanu. 

2:38PM

Raducanu has been made to battle this set and same with this game. But at 30-30 she plays a backhand crosscourt winner (I know, another one…) to earn a service point. She duly wins the next point and again Cirstea will have to serve to stay in the match. 

2:34PM

After losing eight games in a row Cirstea has done well – she's up against it, has the crowd willing Raducanu's every shot over the net BUT the Romanian has held firm this set. She holds to 15. 

2:30PM

Raducanu is a game away from the fourth round. That was a game of attrition that the young Brit came out on top of – another good sign. 

Cirstea is now serving to stay in the match. 

2:27PM

A Cirstea double fault gives Raducanu two break points – on second service the Briton has a great chance to break but a forehand into the net makes it 30-40 – an opportunity missed. It then gets to deuce after a forehand on the run from the Romanian. Raducanu moves Cirstea around the court prompting an error that gifts her a third break point.

She cannot capitalise on that and after a three more deuces, she unleashes a blistering crosscourt forehand winner for her fourth break point. This game is the longest of the match and is revealing much about Raducanu's determination and poise. Another forehand winner – this time down the line – nets her a fifth break point. Again Cirstea saves it and we're back to deuce. 

Then after what seems like an eternity (14 mins 56 secs, to be precise) Cirstea finally holds..

2:10PM

That's much better on her serve from Raducanu – she looked more settled and less nervous there than her previous service game. A double fault, however, gives Cirstea a glimmer of hope until a blistering forehand winner allows the Briton to hold to 30. 

2:07PM

Having been under pressure on serve for virtually the whole match Cirstea suddenly looks solid on her serve. She holds to 30 and we're level in the second set. 

2:03PM

Raducanu is now under pressure on her serve. Cirstea gets a 0-30 lead. She show guts and determination to get it back to 30-30 but a double fault gifts the Romanian a break point. A long forehand then sees Cirstea break. Having lost eight in a row, the Romanian has won two in a row. 

1:59PM

Raducanu is in the zone – she's playing with joy and freedom, and plays a brilliant crosscourt forehand winner at. She then follows that up with an even better down the line forehand winner (while stretching for the ball). She soon has two break points. Cirstea saves the first – with a fine drop shot winner – then gets it back to deuce. From there she sends down a big first serve and an ace to finally hold. That was a huge hold from the Romanian. 

1:54PM

Tracy Austin on BBC comms has said 'we're witnessing the start of a very good career'. Hard to disagree based on what we've seen over the past 50 mins or so. 

In the time it took me to write that Raducanu has held to love. That's eight games in a row for the Briton and Cirstea – an experienced, top-50 player – doesn't know what to do. 

If you can get to a TV, turn it on, watch this and be mightily impressed

1:52PM

The Cirstea serve is under constant pressure – she's down 0-30, then 15-40 and it's two more break points for Raducanu. She only needs one of them as another (the latest in a long line) backhand winner down the line allows her to break to 15. 

This is utterly brilliant from the Brit, so impressive, so good to watch, there must be a fault somewhere?! 

1:49PM

Cirstea, understandably, is looking rattled – you would be too if you had to face the imperious, error and nerve-free display from Raducanu. 

Five games on the bounce for the young Briton is now six. She holds to 15 thanks to another backhand winner. There's little wrong in Raducanu's world at the moment. 

1:45PM

That Raducanu backhand is both brutal and beautiful – it's been used a few times already today and is clearly the strongest weapon in the 18 year old's artillery. She hits a powerful crosscourt backhand that Cirstea cannot deal with. From there the Briton continues to dominate the Romanian's serve and takes the first set with a delightful lob. 

I think Billie Jean King was right – Raducanu is the real deal. That was so good…is this really her grand slam debut?! 

1:41PM

Going on the first eight games, Raducanu has the game and the poise to go far. There doesn't seem to be any glaring weakness and her serving (aged just 18) is very impressive. She sends down two aces on the way to holding to 15. She is dominating her service games. 

1:38PM

Raducanu is outhitting the Romanian (which takes some doing) and she has another break point and Cirstea gifts her the game thanks to a double fault. COuld that be the vital break? Three games on the trot for Emma…

1:33PM

The Briton's service games have been more impressive than those of her more heralded opponent – she holds to love after some brutal groundstrokes from Cirstea highlight the brilliant defensive game of Raducanu. So, so good from the 18-year-old. 

1:30PM

There is so much belief in Raducanu's backhand and it is so technically good that when on song she can play some great – 'let's see that again' – winners. One just like that gets her to deuce (Cirstea has been take to deuce in each of her service games so far…). The Briton then has a break point and does not make a fault as a wayward forehand from the Romanian gifts her the break. 

Said it before and I'll doubtless say it again (many times) this is impressive from Raducanu. 

1:24PM

For all her youthful exuberanceand brilliance, it's important to remember she's still on 18 and she's under pressure at 15-40. She then sends down a huge serve to get to 30-40 – a great response. But the Cirstea backhand is a weapon and it allows her to break to 30. 

1:20PM

The Raducanu backhand looks brilliant and a great offensive weapon – on the run she unleashes a brilliant crosscourt winner to get to 0-15. Cirstea is again under pressure at 0-30 but summons up two decent serves to get to 30-30. The Briton moves Cirstea around the court well before wrongfooting her to get to deuce. The Romanian then puts in two bit first serves and holds again. BUT this is an impressive start from Raducanu – she is not overawed by the occasion, her opponent, or, seemingly, anything…

1:14PM

That's a confident service game from Raducanu – she looks devoid of nerves (if she has any she's hiding them well) she holds to love. This sport is easy isn't it!

1:12PM

Annabel Croft says before the start: “This match is exciting because we don't really know what will happen.” Let's find out…

Cirstea serves first – she's experienced, it's her 13th Wimbledon BUT she is under pressure at 30-30. Raducanu's backhand forcing an error. There are no nerves apparent in the Briton and she has an early break point! A long forehand gets the game to deuce, and from there Cirstea – thanks to a blistering forehand and wide backhand from the home hope – holds. 

1:02PM

And we're a minute or two away from the start.

1:01PM

Whenever you are described in that way it's pretty cool, when you're a young tennis player and the person describing you like that is Billie Jean King it's #verycool #amazing #telleveryone

12:59PM

Other than well…

…she's been described as a “code breaker with a racket.” 

“In both Raducanu's Wimbledon wins so far, she has cracked her opponents like Sudoku puzzles, demonstrating her strategic mind”

READ: How Emma Raducanu's court craft and hunger are taking Wimbledon by storm

12:51PM

Don't feel bad if you hadn't heard much about her before Thursday's memorable win – she was doing her A-levels only a few weeks ago. 

Our very own Molly McElwee has written a lovely profile of the 18-year-old in which we learn that…

  • Raducanu actually had her pick of four different nations to represent: she was born in Toronto to a Romanian father and Chinese mother, before the family moved to London when she was two.
  • Her parents, who both work in finance, were keen to ensure she remained well-balanced though and her hobbies include go-karting and motocross, and she has remained dedicated to her studies alongside tennis.
  • She successfully juggled her GCSEs alongside turning professional in 2018, achieving top grades while winning her first three ITF titles and making her debut on the British Fed Cup team last year.

READ: Meet Emma Raducanu: the motocross-loving model student – and next big thing in British tennis

12:24PM

You never have to wait long to come across British tennis’ next Big Thing. Seemingly every Wimbledon some young ‘future star’ will shine for a round or two before the anticipated titles and glory never really materialises thereafter. In Emma Raducanu the hype seems justified. 

The 18-year-old wildcard is in the third round thanks to her memorable 6-2, 6-4 defeat of Marketa Vondrousova – a player 296 places above her in the world rankings. The debutant is now the lone British woman flag-bearer  and as Mick Cleary wrote after that famous win: “Two months ago Raducanu was sitting her A-levels, unknown and unheralded. Those days of anonymity are gone. This was her sporting matriculation. From sixth-former to prodigy in the spotlight. The wheel is turning and Raducanu is enjoying the ride.”

What made the win over the 2019 French Open finalist even more sparkling was the fact Raducanu had not played a professional tournament since March 2020 before this week and if you didn’t know which player was which you would have reasonably assumed that it was the 18-year-old home hope that was the world No.42 and former grand slam finalist, and it was the Czech playing in her first slam. 

Raducanu’s world ranking of 338 is set to fly high after this run to the third round, and her march to the third round will see her earn at least  £115,000 – nearly four times her career earnings to date. She was one of six British women to be handed a wildcard, but it was Raducanu who showed the poise and lcass lacking in some of her her compatriots  and this afternoon faces Sorana Cirstea. 

The Romanian is 45 in the world rankings and will likely give Raducanu another test and provide a good barometer of where she is and where she can go. Cirstea has never been past the third round in SW19 so it will be unchartered waters for whoever wins today. 

Stay here for what promises to be another rollercoaster ride and an early glimpse of a future British star. 

3:04PM

Those are the words of Tracy Austin on the performance of Emma Raducanu. 

2:58PM

On how she is feeling…

On what it means for her…

On trying to sum up the victory…

On playing in the second week…

2:50PM

At 0-15 Reducanu perhaps plays her best backhand winner of the match (it's a crowded field…) – on the run, crosscourt that Cirstea cannot get close to. At 15-30 down she then gees up the crowd (surely she's done this before?!) such awareness. She then earns a matchpoint with yet another backhand winner – Cirstea saves that one thanks to a long Raducanu forehand. Another Raducanu forehand, however, earns her a second matchpoint. Once again Cirstea digs deep and saves. At advantage down the Briton unleashes another backhand winner (no shock there) and it's back to deuce. Raducanu then earns her third match point AND SHE DOES IT after a brilliant rally in which she seemed out of until she pushes Cirstea to the back of the court and forces the error! 

WOW

Say hello to Briton's latest star – he is the real deal and will go far…

Take a bow, Emma Raducanu. 

2:38PM

Raducanu has been made to battle this set and same with this game. But at 30-30 she plays a backhand crosscourt winner (I know, another one…) to earn a service point. She duly wins the next point and again Cirstea will have to serve to stay in the match. 

2:34PM

After losing eight games in a row Cirstea has done well – she's up against it, has the crowd willing Raducanu's every shot over the net BUT the Romanian has held firm this set. She holds to 15. 

2:30PM

Raducanu is a game away from the fourth round. That was a game of attrition that the young Brit came out on top of – another good sign. 

Cirstea is now serving to stay in the match. 

2:27PM

A Cirstea double fault gives Raducanu two break points – on second service the Briton has a great chance to break but a forehand into the net makes it 30-40 – an opportunity missed. It then gets to deuce after a forehand on the run from the Romanian. Raducanu moves Cirstea around the court prompting an error that gifts her a third break point.

She cannot capitalise on that and after a three more deuces, she unleashes a blistering crosscourt forehand winner for her fourth break point. This game is the longest of the match and is revealing much about Raducanu's determination and poise. Another forehand winner – this time down the line – nets her a fifth break point. Again Cirstea saves it and we're back to deuce. 

Then after what seems like an eternity (14 mins 56 secs, to be precise) Cirstea finally holds..

2:10PM

That's much better on her serve from Raducanu – she looked more settled and less nervous there than her previous service game. A double fault, however, gives Cirstea a glimmer of hope until a blistering forehand winner allows the Briton to hold to 30. 

2:07PM

Having been under pressure on serve for virtually the whole match Cirstea suddenly looks solid on her serve. She holds to 30 and we're level in the second set. 

2:03PM

Raducanu is now under pressure on her serve. Cirstea gets a 0-30 lead. She show guts and determination to get it back to 30-30 but a double fault gifts the Romanian a break point. A long forehand then sees Cirstea break. Having lost eight in a row, the Romanian has won two in a row. 

1:59PM

Raducanu is in the zone – she's playing with joy and freedom, and plays a brilliant crosscourt forehand winner at. She then follows that up with an even better down the line forehand winner (while stretching for the ball). She soon has two break points. Cirstea saves the first – with a fine drop shot winner – then gets it back to deuce. From there she sends down a big first serve and an ace to finally hold. That was a huge hold from the Romanian. 

1:54PM

Tracy Austin on BBC comms has said 'we're witnessing the start of a very good career'. Hard to disagree based on what we've seen over the past 50 mins or so. 

In the time it took me to write that Raducanu has held to love. That's eight games in a row for the Briton and Cirstea – an experienced, top-50 player – doesn't know what to do. 

If you can get to a TV, turn it on, watch this and be mightily impressed

1:52PM

The Cirstea serve is under constant pressure – she's down 0-30, then 15-40 and it's two more break points for Raducanu. She only needs one of them as another (the latest in a long line) backhand winner down the line allows her to break to 15. 

This is utterly brilliant from the Brit, so impressive, so good to watch, there must be a fault somewhere?! 

1:49PM

Cirstea, understandably, is looking rattled – you would be too if you had to face the imperious, error and nerve-free display from Raducanu. 

Five games on the bounce for the young Briton is now six. She holds to 15 thanks to another backhand winner. There's little wrong in Raducanu's world at the moment. 

1:45PM

That Raducanu backhand is both brutal and beautiful – it's been used a few times already today and is clearly the strongest weapon in the 18 year old's artillery. She hits a powerful crosscourt backhand that Cirstea cannot deal with. From there the Briton continues to dominate the Romanian's serve and takes the first set with a delightful lob. 

I think Billie Jean King was right – Raducanu is the real deal. That was so good…is this really her grand slam debut?! 

1:41PM

Going on the first eight games, Raducanu has the game and the poise to go far. There doesn't seem to be any glaring weakness and her serving (aged just 18) is very impressive. She sends down two aces on the way to holding to 15. She is dominating her service games. 

1:38PM

Raducanu is outhitting the Romanian (which takes some doing) and she has another break point and Cirstea gifts her the game thanks to a double fault. COuld that be the vital break? Three games on the trot for Emma…

1:33PM

The Briton's service games have been more impressive than those of her more heralded opponent – she holds to love after some brutal groundstrokes from Cirstea highlight the brilliant defensive game of Raducanu. So, so good from the 18-year-old. 

1:30PM

There is so much belief in Raducanu's backhand and it is so technically good that when on song she can play some great – 'let's see that again' – winners. One just like that gets her to deuce (Cirstea has been take to deuce in each of her service games so far…). The Briton then has a break point and does not make a fault as a wayward forehand from the Romanian gifts her the break. 

Said it before and I'll doubtless say it again (many times) this is impressive from Raducanu. 

1:24PM

For all her youthful exuberanceand brilliance, it's important to remember she's still on 18 and she's under pressure at 15-40. She then sends down a huge serve to get to 30-40 – a great response. But the Cirstea backhand is a weapon and it allows her to break to 30. 

1:20PM

The Raducanu backhand looks brilliant and a great offensive weapon – on the run she unleashes a brilliant crosscourt winner to get to 0-15. Cirstea is again under pressure at 0-30 but summons up two decent serves to get to 30-30. The Briton moves Cirstea around the court well before wrongfooting her to get to deuce. The Romanian then puts in two bit first serves and holds again. BUT this is an impressive start from Raducanu – she is not overawed by the occasion, her opponent, or, seemingly, anything…

1:14PM

That's a confident service game from Raducanu – she looks devoid of nerves (if she has any she's hiding them well) she holds to love. This sport is easy isn't it!

1:12PM

Annabel Croft says before the start: “This match is exciting because we don't really know what will happen.” Let's find out…

Cirstea serves first – she's experienced, it's her 13th Wimbledon BUT she is under pressure at 30-30. Raducanu's backhand forcing an error. There are no nerves apparent in the Briton and she has an early break point! A long forehand gets the game to deuce, and from there Cirstea – thanks to a blistering forehand and wide backhand from the home hope – holds. 

1:02PM

And we're a minute or two away from the start.

1:01PM

Whenever you are described in that way it's pretty cool, when you're a young tennis player and the person describing you like that is Billie Jean King it's #verycool #amazing #telleveryone

12:59PM

Other than well…

…she's been described as a “code breaker with a racket.” 

“In both Raducanu's Wimbledon wins so far, she has cracked her opponents like Sudoku puzzles, demonstrating her strategic mind”

READ: How Emma Raducanu's court craft and hunger are taking Wimbledon by storm

12:51PM

Don't feel bad if you hadn't heard much about her before Thursday's memorable win – she was doing her A-levels only a few weeks ago. 

Our very own Molly McElwee has written a lovely profile of the 18-year-old in which we learn that…

  • Raducanu actually had her pick of four different nations to represent: she was born in Toronto to a Romanian father and Chinese mother, before the family moved to London when she was two.
  • Her parents, who both work in finance, were keen to ensure she remained well-balanced though and her hobbies include go-karting and motocross, and she has remained dedicated to her studies alongside tennis.
  • She successfully juggled her GCSEs alongside turning professional in 2018, achieving top grades while winning her first three ITF titles and making her debut on the British Fed Cup team last year.

READ: Meet Emma Raducanu: the motocross-loving model student – and next big thing in British tennis

12:24PM

You never have to wait long to come across British tennis’ next Big Thing. Seemingly every Wimbledon some young ‘future star’ will shine for a round or two before the anticipated titles and glory never really materialises thereafter. In Emma Raducanu the hype seems justified. 

The 18-year-old wildcard is in the third round thanks to her memorable 6-2, 6-4 defeat of Marketa Vondrousova – a player 296 places above her in the world rankings. The debutant is now the lone British woman flag-bearer  and as Mick Cleary wrote after that famous win: “Two months ago Raducanu was sitting her A-levels, unknown and unheralded. Those days of anonymity are gone. This was her sporting matriculation. From sixth-former to prodigy in the spotlight. The wheel is turning and Raducanu is enjoying the ride.”

What made the win over the 2019 French Open finalist even more sparkling was the fact Raducanu had not played a professional tournament since March 2020 before this week and if you didn’t know which player was which you would have reasonably assumed that it was the 18-year-old home hope that was the world No.42 and former grand slam finalist, and it was the Czech playing in her first slam. 

Raducanu’s world ranking of 338 is set to fly high after this run to the third round, and her march to the third round will see her earn at least  £115,000 – nearly four times her career earnings to date. She was one of six British women to be handed a wildcard, but it was Raducanu who showed the poise and lcass lacking in some of her her compatriots  and this afternoon faces Sorana Cirstea. 

The Romanian is 45 in the world rankings and will likely give Raducanu another test and provide a good barometer of where she is and where she can go. Cirstea has never been past the third round in SW19 so it will be unchartered waters for whoever wins today. 

Stay here for what promises to be another rollercoaster ride and an early glimpse of a future British star. 


... read more
– July 3, 2021
Cirstea British teenager Raducanu into last 16
Sorana Cirstea

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