Emma Raducanu makes Carlos Alcaraz confession as she also highlights one of her ‘big strengths’

Shahida Jacobs
Emma Raducanu joking during her on-court interview
Emma Raducanu a fan of Carlos Alcaraz's style of play

Emma Raducanu admits she has been drawing inspiration from Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon as watching the reigning men’s champion’s matches has helped to keep her in the moment and even made her want to “emulate certain shots”.

The 21-year-old Raducanu booked her place in the fourth round of the 2024 grass-court Grand Slam with another stunning performance against Maria Sakkari as she scored her second top-10 win in the space of a couple of weeks.

Having beaten world No 5 Jessica Pegula at Eastbourne, she followed it up with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over world No 9 Sakkari on Centre Court.

Up next is qualifier Lulu Sun and if she gets through that match she will face either Paula Badosa or Donna Vekic in the quarter-final.

When asked if she was looking further ahead as her path has opened up until the semi-final, Raducanu replied: “Honestly, that’s so far ahead.

“I haven’t looked that far ahead. I only focus on who I’m playing next. I think that’s the best way to be. I think staying present in the moment is what got me this far. I’m not going to start changing anything.”

Watching the energetic Alcaraz’s clashes – which have preceded her Centre Court and Court No.1 encounters – has been one of the reasons she has been able to stay relaxed before and during matches as she revealed it has even given her a boost to try things during her own matches.

Alcaraz’s match against Frances Tiafoe was on before the Raducanu-Sakkari clash and it went to a five-setter before the Spaniard got the win under his belt.

Raducanu added: “But I think, following the Carlos-Tiafoe match, it was such amazing tennis, just very fun to watch. I think the last couple matches I’ve been following Carlos, and yeah, it’s just good to watch before the match.

“I think sometimes in certain moments you in a way try to emulate certain shots or whatever.”

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One of the key reasons behind Raducanu’s success against Sakkari was her ability to dominate the big points as she often came up with aces or winners when she needed to as she saved seven break points while converting five of the nine she fashioned on the Greek’s serve.

“I think naturally that’s always been one of my big strengths, is the big points. I step up and I thrive and I love the challenge and trying to overcome it,” she explained.

“I think that’s something I did since a young age, very much so. I think in the last couple years, I don’t think I was playing those big points in the same way. Like, I wasn’t as aggressive. I was more passive.

“I think I’m playing such a top opponent like Maria, she’s not going to give me the match or give me an error. I know I have to go for it. Anyone at this level of the tournament is the same.

“You just have to take the opportunities while you have them.”