“She’s bringing that magic, that New York magic,” BBC commentator Sam Smith said of Emma Raducanu, as the 19-year-old inched closer to victory against Alison Van Uytvanck at Wimbledon on Monday.
That “New York magic,” of course, is what made Raducanu one of the most surprising Grand Slam champions in tennis history last summer at the US Open. Since then, her career, filled as it has been with injuries, early losses and an ever-spinning coaching carousel, has been anything but magical—she was 8-11 on the year before today. But Raducanu is obviously a player who shines brightest on the big stage, and that’s what she did in her first match on the biggest of all, Centre Court.
After all of the media scrutiny over the last 10 months, the 100-year-old arena seemed to provide a refuge for Raducanu, a place where she was free again simply to perform.
“I felt the support the minute I walked through those doors,” Raducanu said after her 6-4, 6-4 win over Van Uytvanck. (Watch the match point below.)