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Sonay Kartal finally steps out Emma Raducanu’s shadow as she lines up for Wimbledon debut

Sonay Kartal finally steps out of the shadow of fellow Briton Emma Raducanu as she lines up to make Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon – ten years after taking on the US Open champion at junior level

  • Sonay Kartal played US Open Champion and fellow Brit Emma Raducanu of 10
  • Kartal is now set to make her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon on Tuesday
  • She will play Danka Kovinic and a win could see her face as world champion Iga Swiatek
  • Kartal thinks it would be appropriate to take on Raducanu on the senior podium one day

When Emma Raducanu won the US Open last year, a video went viral of the Briton showing off her aggressive play at the tender age of nine.

She tests her opponent with ferocious forehands and a blistering backhand in a baseline rally. But the ball just keeps coming back until Raducanu finally loses the point by a passing shot down the line.

The victorious girl on the other side of the net was Sonay Kartal, who we will see make her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon.

Sonay Kartal played US Open Champion and fellow Brit Emma Raducanu . at the age of nine

Sonay Kartal played US Open Champion and fellow Brit Emma Raducanu . at the age of nine

“I was walking my dog ​​and my phone kept ringing,” said the 20-year-old Briton. ‘I thought, ‘What’s going on?’ I hadn’t seen that video, but I remember that point because it was probably one of my best. When that video came out, it was pretty cool to see it.”

It gave Kartal a taste of the spotlight that now shines so brightly on 19-year-old Raducanu, her friend she grew up with. “I went to tournaments and coaches from all over the world said, ‘Oh, you’re the girl in the video, aren’t you?’ Yes…that’s me,’ says Kartal, laughing sheepishly.

“I don’t have the same pressure as them. She’s in the spotlight all the time, while I’m not. It didn’t happen to me. But it’s about the sport. It’s going to happen when that’s your ranking and you play big events.”

Kartal thinks it’s fitting to meet Raducanu on the senior stage one day, ten years after their back-and-forth at age nine.

“It would be nice to see if we can repeat that,” she says.

In the first round of Wimbledon on Tuesday, Kartal will face Danka Kovinic, the world number 90 who defeated Raducanu in the second round of the Australian Open in January.

Raducanu rose to fame when she won the US Open last September at the age of 18

Raducanu rose to fame when she won the US Open last September at the age of 18

Kartal (above) makes her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon when she takes on Danka Kovinic

Kartal (above) makes her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon when she takes on Danka Kovinic

It’s a tough question for Kartal, who is currently 226 in the world rankings, but she believes she can deliver a surprise.

Defeat Kovinic and she should then probably face Iga Swiatek, the world No. 1 to arrive at Wimbledon with a 35-game winning streak, possibly at Center Court.

A win or two at SW19 can do wonders for a player’s profile. Just ask Raducanu after her run-up to the fourth round last year.

Now it’s the turn of the young girl who defeated Raducanu in her youth to see if she can make a name for herself in this tournament too.

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