Emma Raducanu put her troubled build-up behind her as she marked her Centre Court debut by defeating Alison van Uytvanck to reach the second round of Wimbledon with a straight-sets win; Raducanu faces Caroline Garcia next after she beat Britain’s Yuriko Miyazaki in three sets.
“I have had a tough year, it’s no secret. It is all worth it just to go out on Centre Court and get a win like that,” she said afterwards.
On paper this was a difficult draw for any seeded player, let alone one with such unideal preparation. Van Uytvanck, with her all-court game, big serve and flat groundstrokes has always performed well on grass. In those early exchanges, though, both generated multiple break points but neither could find her top level. While Raducanu tried to impose herself inside the baseline, she initially struggled to find her range on her forehand.
And now Raducanu is in the second round after clinching just her third win over a top-50 player this season. She will next face France’s Caroline Garcia, a 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4) winner over Yuriko Miyazaki. It is fair to assume that this, too, will not be an occasion for Court 18.