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Emma Raducanu insists she ‘can compete with anyone’ after victory in her Centre Court debut

Emma Raducanu claims she can ‘compete with ANYONE’ after her first round win at Wimbledon – while Britain’s No. 1 insists she’s ‘glad she got through the tough times’ following injury concerns ahead of Center Court debut

  • Emma Raducanu cherishes her Center Court win at Wimbledon
  • Raducanu won 6-4, 6-4 when she beat Alison Van Uytvanck
  • After the win, the UK No. 1 has claimed she can ‘compete with anyone’
  • Caroline Garcia from Spain will be Raducanu’s next opponent in the second round

Emma Raducanu cherished her Center Court debut as she put her difficult Wimbledon build behind her with a first round win over Alison Van Uytvanck.

The 10th seed’s entry into the tournament was in doubt until the weekend due to a side injury sustained at the WTA Tour event in Nottingham three weeks ago.

Coupled with the huge focus on the US Open champion’s homecoming and a tough opponent, this was a big test, but Raducanu impressively succeeded by taking a 6-4 6-4 win.

Emma Raducanu says she can 'compete with anyone' after her Center Court win at Wimbledon

Emma Raducanu says she can ‘compete with anyone’ after her Center Court win at Wimbledon

She jumped and screamed with delight as her final volley reached the middle of the field and Raducanu wanted to emphasize afterwards that while the external expectations on her shoulders stretch well beyond the first round wins, this was a feat to be savored.

Raducanu said, ‘It was not a relief, it was just happiness. It’s great to play on Center Court and win the first time. Every time I go back I’m just going to have a great first experience. That always helps.

“I definitely recorded it. I looked at the crowd, just saw everyone. The sound was just amazing to hear from the start. When the crowd got a bit fuller as the game went on, even more so in the tricky moments. I think they really got me through some tough ones.

“It was a difficult game because Alison is a great opponent. She hits the ball really low and flat, and it certainly suits this surface. I knew if I went in I had to play well. I’m glad I got through the tough times.’

Raducanu won 6-4, 6-4 when she beat Alison Van Uytvanck at Wimbledon

Raducanu won 6-4, 6-4 when she beat Alison Van Uytvanck at Wimbledon

The 19-year-old managed to fight his way back despite a breakdown

The 19-year-old managed to fight his way back despite a breakdown

While the 19-year-old gave a positive assessment of her fitness and mentality at her press conference on Saturday, the stresses of a match, especially such a high-profile one, are inevitably different from training.

Van Uytvanck certainly wasn’t the friendliest draw Raducanu could have gotten, as the 46th Belgian to win a turf title – albeit second-tier – in Italy last weekend, upset defending champion Garbine Muguruza en route to the fourth round. in 2018.

Both women saved breakpoints in two long opening games, but Raducanu, who found some flashy backhand winners, got the better of three straight breaks, then saved two more breakpoints before serving the first set.

Missing six breakpoints in the opening game of the second set, she trailed 3-1 but hit back straight away and it was encouraging that unlike her opponent, Raducanu stayed hard when needed.

Raducanu missed six break points in the opening game of the second set, but still won

Raducanu missed six break points in the opening game of the second set, but still won

“I haven’t played tennis for two weeks, and this week I hit about an hour a day,” she said. “My preparation was not necessarily the best.

“But I know that when it comes to the games, I feel like I’m shifting very special. I don’t feel like I need a huge amount of preparation. Of course I do that to build up physically.

“I think a lot of it is mental, and I definitely left with faith today. I know I can compete with anyone on the other side of the track if I really go for it.’

Raducanu came to her post-match press conference wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with Rafael Nadal’s bull horns logo, taking inspiration from the Spaniard’s exploits this season.

The 19-year-old said she 'went out believing' she could win despite recent injuries

The 19-year-old said she ‘went out believing’ she could win despite recent injuries

“I think Rafa just fights, embodies that kind of energy,” said the 19-year-old, who goes on to play France’s Caroline Garcia.

‘I’ll bring that in. I think I’ve had a rough year, that’s no secret. It’s all worth it to play on Center Court alone and win that way.

“I am absolutely delighted to be here. All the lessons I’ve learned over the past year will only serve me well for the future.’

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