HomeSportsLulu Sun defeats Emma Raducanu to advance into quarter-finals

Lulu Sun defeats Emma Raducanu to advance into quarter-finals

Twenty-three-year-old Lulu Sun is making a name for herself at Wimbledon. On Sunday, she beat popular British tennis player Emma Raducanu to advance to the quarterfinals.

Sun entered the tournament by winning a series of qualifying matches as opposed to her world ranking. She is the first qualifier since Kaia Kanepi from 2010 to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals, The New Zealand Herald reports.

In her opening-round match, she stunned No. 8 seed Qinwen Zheng in a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 game for her first victory at a major. She then proceeded to win a chain of upsets against players Yuliia Starodubtseva and Lin Zhu, finally reaching the fourth round to play against crowd-favorite Raducanu.

Raducanu hadn’t dropped a set during her first week at the All England Club, displaying her best performance since she won the US Open in 2021. She also had one of her biggest victories, beating the highly-ranked Maria Sakkari in the round of 32. The Asian British player however recently pulled out of her mixed doubles match with Andy Murray due to a wrist injury.

Undeterred by the high pressure of the match, Sun came out on top by defeating Raducanu 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, to advance to the quarterfinals. Sun has so far won 23 out of 28 net points and hit a high of 52 winners, the most winners by any woman all tournament.

According to The Athletic, Sun first broke Raducanu twice in the first set, gaining more and more depth on her groundstrokes, at times as much as 1.5 meters more than Raducanu.

Reuters reports that Raducanu was able to stay with Sun during the second set and even take advantage of errors on a missed volley and a long groundstroke, giving her the chance to get back into the contest.

Unfortunately, Raducanu slipped and twisted her ankle at the beginning of the third step and required a medical timeout. She was able to continue with the game but once again fell behind when Sun smacked a forehand winner to wrap up her victory as the Briton hit a long return.

Knowing the talent possessed by qualifiers at the majors after she herself had triumphed as one at the U.S. Open before, the British player told Wimbledon before their match, “You don’t qualify and make the fourth round if you’re not extremely dangerous, beating the players [Lulu Sun] has.”

“I was just taking it all in for the first time,” Sun told the crowd during her on-court interview moments later. “I’m just super happy to play on this court in front of all of you. It was just an amazing experience.”

Reuters analyzes that Sun is the first New Zealand representative in the Open era to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals, and the second from her country to reach the round at any major.

Sun, born in New Zealand to a Croatian father and Chinese mother, was something of an unknown quantity before, is quickly drawing the attention of future opponents.

Croatia’s resurgent player Donna Vekic, who will be facing Sun in the quarter-finals on Tuesday said, per ESPN, that “no one makes the quarter-finals of Wimbledon by accident. [Sun]’s obviously playing great tennis. It will be a tough match.”

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