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Emma Raducanu brushes aside world number nine Maria Sakkari at Wimbledon

Emma Raducanu fired another warning shot to her rivals by breezing past ninth seed Maria Sakkari and into the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Raducanu conjured memories of thumping Sakkari in New York in 2021 on her way to US Open glory and she again lost only five games under the roof on Centre Court, reminding the tennis world of her rare talent in a 6-2 6-3 victory.

Having not beaten a top-10 player in her career, the 21-year-old has now done it twice in a fortnight, and she has matched her best run at the All England Club from her breakthrough event three years ago.

On that occasion, it all became too much for the then teenager and she retired with breathing difficulties during a fourth-round clash with Ajla Tomljanovic.

It seems hugely unlikely the same thing will happen again, with Raducanu having come through a hugely testing three years since that Flushing Meadows title.

She next faces an unexpected opponent in New Zealand's Lulu Sun for a spot in the quarter-finals, while this victory was enough to ensure her place back in the top 100.

Raducanu said: "I think today was really up there with the most fun I've had on a tennis court. I was just telling myself how many times in your life do you get the opportunity to play in front of a full Centre Court so I'm really grateful for the support."

She played down the parallels between this fortnight and New York after swatting aside Elise Mertens in the last round, but there certainly are some, not least the fact she arrived here feeling confident and with plenty of wins under her belt.

Over the last month she has reached her first grass-court semi-final in Nottingham and then beat a top-10 player for the first time, seeing off Jessica Pegula in Eastbourne.

Sakkari pointed out in a rather prickly fashion ahead of the contest that it is she rather than Raducanu who has been among the best players in the world for the last three years.

But she has also struggled at the grand slams since making the last four in New York and came into Wimbledon having won just one match in her last five major tournaments.

An error-strewn first game from the Greek, who has never been beyond the third round here, gave Raducanu an immediate break of serve, while the big difference between the two was their handling of the big points.

Raducanu was exceptional, saving five break points across three games in the first set, one with an ace and another a searing forehand down the line.

She had Sakkari at 0-40 in the fifth game without managing to break but found the cushion she was looking for when an Andy Murray-esque lob landed on the baseline to give her a 5-2 lead.

Sakkari had two more chances in the next game but again Raducanu was rock solid, and there was an air of real excitement around Centre Court when she secured another break to lead 2-1 in the second set.

Errors were flowing again from the racket of a frustrated Sakkari, who vented in exasperation at her support box as Raducanu survived another close game, saving two more break points, one with a second-serve ace.

Sakkari saved two match points serving at 3-5 but sent a forehand wide on the third to leave Raducanu grinning in delight.
 

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