Emma Raducanu +19 in WTA Rankings after impressive Wimbledon triumph

Ewan West
Emma Raducanu celebrates during her match at Wimbledon in 2024
Emma Raducanu celebrates during her match at Wimbledon in 2024

Emma Raducanu made a strong start to her campaign at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships as she defeated Renata Zarazua in straight sets. 

The 21-year-old downed world No 98 Zarazua 7-6(0), 6-3 on Centre Court in her first match at Wimbledon in two years to continue her strong grass-court form.

Raducanu won the opening set on a tiebreak and earned the only break of serve in the second set to hold off the 26-year-old Mexican in a tight first round encounter.

The Brit was set to face world No 22 Ekaterina Alexandrova, but the Russian’s withdrawal due to illness saw her place in the draw taken by lucky loser Zarazua.

Raducanu, who was ranked 135th heading into Wimbledon, has climbed 19 spots to 116th in the live WTA Rankings with the 70 points earned for her opening round victory.

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In her on-court interview, Raducanu said: “Well, I mean it was an incredibly difficult match. I think I’ve barely, if ever, played a defender who’s literally landed the ball on the baseline and just kept getting the ball back.

“Yeah, it took a lot of strength to get over the line. It’s amazing to play an opponent such as Renata, who — it’s not easy, you know, in the morning you’re not in the draw, then you’re playing on Centre Court.

“So, all props to her and thank you to everyone for helping me get through.”

The 2021 US Open winner spoke about the challenge of facing a different opponent after Alexandrova’s late withdrawal.

“Yeah of course, I mean I found out at like 10:30[am] today and for the last three days we’ve been planning, playing, setting up practices with similar opponents,” she said.

“And then, all of a sudden, yeah, it’s a change of plan. It took a little bit of adjusting and finding my feet.”

The former world No 10 also touched on returning to Wimbledon after injury forced her to miss the 2023 edition of the tournament.

“Yeah, I mean I’m incredibly happy to be back here of course and today, I was for sure nervous,” Raducanu admitted. “I think everyone could see that in my tennis a little bit.

“At the end of the day, you have to just do what it takes to get over the line. And honestly, watching [England in] the [Euro 2024] football last night, it was like winning ugly (laughs), like it all counts.”

Raducanu will face world No 33 Elise Mertens, who is the highest-ranked unseeded player in the draw, in the second round.

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