London: Emma Raducanu has become the youngest British woman to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon in the Open era.
The 18-year-old wildcard, ranked 338th and fresh from completing her A-Levels, converted her third match point to beat veteran Sorana Cirstea 6-3, 7-5 on No. 1 Court. She is playing in her first Grand Slam tournament.
Raducanu won eight straight games to take a 3-0 lead in the second set, then struggled to put away Cirstea. She failed to convert three straight break points in the next game, then was broken and missed another five break points at 4-3.
She needed another three attempts in the final game before Cirstea netted a forehand to end the match.
Deborah Jevans was the previous youngest British woman to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon at age 19 in 1979.
“I am so speechless right now,” Raducanu said.
“I didn’t know what my reaction would be, and then that just happened. I’m so, so grateful for all the support I had today. This is by far the biggest court I’ve played on. I think I coped quite well in the beginning, I just tried to hold my nerve. When I was packing to come into the bubble, my parents said, ‘Aren’t you packing too much match kit?’ I think I’m going to have to do some laundry tonight.”
Raducanu will play Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in the last 16.