Freddy Gray

Why I fancy Emma Raducanu’s chances of winning Wimbledon

  • From Spectator Life
Emma Raducanu (Credit: Getty images)

I just stuck £15 on Emma Raducanu to win Wimbledon at 22/1 — and I think you should too. I’m no tennis expert, far from it, but I’ve a reasonable sports betting record and like many others I’ve watched Emma with patriotic enthusiasm over the last two years.

It’s quite easy to see when she’s hitting form. And, in her victory last night over Alison van Uytvanck, we saw that raw and ridiculous talent that propelled her towards the US Open title last year coming back.

Raducanu is a hot streak player — and her hottest streak yet came in America last year, when she just started blasting her way past various high quality opponents to become the first singles qualifier in the Open Era to win a grand slam.

Emma struggles with nerves, famously. It’s possible, I suppose, that she’ll slip up today against the French Caroline Garcia, the former world number 4 she beat in three sets at Indian Wells three months ago.

But she can also, Rafael Nadal-like, channel her anxiety into genius. She thrives on big occasions and famous courts. She suggested on Monday that she had ‘figured out’ Centre Court, which implies that highly intelligent brain of hers has got to grips with particular angles and dynamics of the most famous tennis arena in the world.

Raducanu can also, Rafael Nadal-like, channel her anxiety into genius. She thrives on big occasions and famous court

As the crowd cheered her on to the court, you could see the confidence spread across her face.

As she put it, ‘It feels incredible. From the moment the doors opened, I completely cherished every moment. I feel like everyone is so behind me.’

‘I’ve been feeling it (crowd support) ever since I stepped on to the practice courts, people behind me going, “Emma, you’ve got this”.

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