Emma Raducanu inspired by ‘fun to watch’ Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon

Emma Raducanu believes that her superb run to the last 16 at Wimbledon has been inspired by watching Carlos Alcaraz before she plays and attempting to emulate some of his shots.

The British No 3 had to wait until early evening to play on Centre Court as the Spaniard struggled to overcome Frances Tiafoe in five sets. But it did not perturb Raducanu as she thrashed the No 9 seed Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3 in one of the best performances of her career.

“The Carlos versus Frances Tiafoe match was such amazing tennis, just very fun to watch,” Raducanu said. “The last couple matches I’ve been following Carlos, and it’s just good to watch before the match. And sometimes in certain moments you in a way try to emulate certain shots or whatever.”

Raducanu will next play the world No 123 Lulu Sun, and appears to have a dream run given she is not scheduled to face another seed until the semi‑finals. However she insisted that she is determined to take things one game at a time. “I only focus on who I’m playing next,” she said. “That’s the best way to be. Staying present in the moment is what got me this far. I’m not going to start changing anything.”

However, Raducanu admitted that her performance against Sakkari was the second most fun on a court during her career – behind only her US Open victory in 2021 – and was a ­culmination of her recent hard work on her game.

“I found myself smiling or laughing to myself because I was just enjoying competing so much,” said Raducanu. “I was just enjoying the battle, and really appreciating the good tennis that was being played by my opponent.

“You do your work day in, day out. You never know when it’s going to pay off, you never know when you’re going to reap the rewards.

“I’m very happy that a lot of the work I’ve been doing has compounded and has been able to show this week.”

Raducanu also said that she was delighted to be on Court No 1 on Saturday evening with Andy Murray in the first round of the mixed doubles.

“I’ll just take direction and follow his lead,” she added. “I’ll have to do a crash course in doubles but I’ll have fun regardless. Of course, I will cherish the opportunity because it is just such an honour.”

The Guardian