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Raducanu Triumphs on Centre Court Debut

Raducanu Triumphs on Centre Court Debut

Monday, 27 June, 2022 - 17:45
Britain's Emma Raducanu celebrates beating Belgium's Alison van Uytvanck during their women's singles tennis match on the first day of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 27, 2022. (AFP)

Britain's teenage US Open champion Emma Raducanu lived up to her star billing on her first appearance on Wimbledon's Centre Court by beating in-form Belgian Alison van Uytvanck 6-4 6-4 in the first round on Monday.

A year ago Raducanu reached the fourth round as an unknown wildcard before going on to win the US Open against impossible odds, but this time the 10th seed carried the hopes of a nation who have not seen a home women's champion since Virginia Wade in 1977.

Despite an injury-ravaged build-up that left her participation in doubt until a few days ago, Raducanu took the first set against the dangerous Belgian who had warmed up with two second-tier tournament victories on grass.

In a match low on consistent quality but with moments of drama, it was Raducanu who tightened the screw, finding her confidence and range to break for a 5-4 lead before serving out strongly to give the home fans the victory they so desperately craved.

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