Lulu Sun: Emma Raducanu’s Round 4 Wimbledon opponent – and ultimate surprise package

Lulu Sun smiles during her Wimbledon campaign
Lulu Sun is on a surprise Wimbledon run.

Grand Slam tournaments always throw up a surprise or two.

That is no different at Wimbledon this year, with plenty of shock early exits in the women’s draw.

Among those to take advantage is Lulu Sun, who is on a six-match winning streak after progressing through qualifying to reach the second week.

We take you through all you need to know about a rising star of the sport – and the next opponent for home favourite Emma Raducanu.

Heritage and nationality

Sun has only officially represented New Zealand on tour since April this year, having previously represented Switzerland until then.

The 23-year-old was born in Te Anau in New Zealand’s south island in April 2001, to a Croatian father and a Chinese mother.

However, the family moved to Switzerland for her education when she was aged five, and is based in Geneva when not travelling for her career.

She largely represented Switzerland as a junior – though competed under the New Zealand flag at Wimbledon in 2018 – and the early stages of her career were as a Swiss player.

However, she made her nationality switch official three months ago, representing the country in the 2024 Billie Jean King Cup qualifier round.

Junior and college career

There were promising signs for Sun as a junior, reaching a Grand Slam final in the girls’ doubles at the 2018 Australian Open.

She and her partner Violet Apisah were seventh seeds in the draw and it took top seeds Liang En-shuo and Wang Xinyu to stop them 7-6(4), 4-6, [10-7].

Following a successful junior career she transferred into the college game, heading to Austin to play for the University of Texas while studying International Relations & Global Studies.

Sun found huge success at the collegiate level, anchoring her college to winning the third-ever NCAA Championships.

Recent rise

The 23-year-old made her WTA Tour debut at the Morocco Open in 2022 and reached the third round of Wimbledon qualifying in 2022, but it was only this season that she began to make significant inroads.

Sun came through qualifying to make her Grand Slam main draw debut at the Australian Open, losing to Elisabetta Cocciaretto in an encouraging display.

She followed that up by picking up her first WTA 1000-level win in Dubai after receiving a wildcard, with Paula Badosa forced to retire in that meeting, though lost in round two of French Open qualifying.

However, she has bounced back with an incredible SW19 display.

The 23rd seed in qualifying, the New Zealander defeated Miriam Bulgaru, Gabriela Knutson, and Alex Eala to reach the main draw.

And there she pulled off one of the biggest upsets in round one, stunning eighth seed Zheng Qinwen 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 for the biggest win of her career.

Sun has since backed that up by defeating Yuliia Starodubtseva and Lin Zhu to become the first New Zealander WTA player since Belinda Cordwell at the 1989 Australian Open to reach round four at a major.

Her run has propelled her up 49 places to a projected new high of 74th in the WTA Rankings – and she may not be done yet.

Read More

Emma Raducanu +43 in WTA Rankings after latest Wimbledon win – as major milestone is confirmed

Who are Emma Raducanu’s parents? ‘Pushy’ Ion Raducanu and Renee Zhai have made US Open winner ‘mentally resilient’

Emma Raducanu ‘can trust’ Nick Cavaday – but who is the coach behind her resurgence?